Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tattling Tootsie - Putting the Tootsie in Tootsie Roll

Today, during my 3rd floor stairway restoration, behind one of the old plaster walls, I found this, an old newsprint cartoon booklet featuring a character named Tattling Tootsie. After rescuing it from the Wet/Dry Vac, I set it aside with a few other interesting things that were back there (i.e. a blue wooden game piece and game card with the state name Missouri printed on it). The back of the booklet looks like this:

After I had finished the work at hand, I consulted the Googles on the subject of "Tattling Tootsie" and Broman-Gelon. And interestingly enough, this is what I came up with:

"The genesis of the company that has been a familiar part of the American cultural landscape for nearly a century can be traced to the Brooklyn kitchen of a newly arrived immigrant from Austria, Leo Hirshfield. In 1896, after having already developed such successful products as Bromangelon, a jelling powder that would later serve as the prototype for modern day gelatins, Hirshfield concocted a thick, chewy chocolate mixture, which he divided into bite-size rolls, wrapping each piece with paper to keep it clean and sanitary. The hand wrapping--believed to be an industry first--enabled Hirshfield's product, named "Tootsie Roll" after his daughter Clara "Tootsie" Hirshfield, to stand out among the competitor's candy-counter offerings, which were sold by the scoop out of large barrels or jars. The new penny candy was an instant success with the children in Hirshfield's Brooklyn neighborhood. He soon realized that he would need more capital to promote and expand his candy business to meet the growing demand. To that end, he merged his operation with a local candy manufacturer, Stern & Staalberg, just a year later. Sales continued to boom, and by 1922 the company, renamed Sweets Company of America, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange."

BTW: Here is the text from one of the booklet pages:

" I never tell lies" said mother's child,
"But the other night my pa was wild.
For dinner was late and he scolded like fun-
but he smiled when ma brought him Bromangelon'


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