Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- May 12, 2010
- Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
Legend has it that in 1670 the choirmaster of the Cologne Cathedral gave sugar sticks to the young singers to keep them quiet during the long living Creche Ceremony. He had the candies bent into shepherd's crooks. The symbol of the shepherd's crook is an ancient one which represents the humble shepherds who were the first to worship Christ.
In 1847 August Imgard, a German-Swedish immigrant who lived in Wooster, Ohio decorated a small blue spruce with paper ornaments and candy canes.
It wasn't until the turn of the 19th century that the red and white stripes and peppermint flavors became the candy cane. The body of the cane is white which represents the life that is pure. The broad red stripe is symbolic of the Lord's sacrifice for man.
In the 1920s, Bob McCormack began making candy canes as special treats for his children, friends and local shopkeepers in Albany, Georgie. It was very laborous as he had to pull, twist, cut and bend the candy by hand. He could only do them locally.
In the 1950s, Bob's bother-in-law, Gregory Keller who was a Catholic priest, invented a machine to automate candy cane production. With this machine and packaging innovations, the younger McCormacks made it possible to sell canes on a large scale that transformed Bob's Candies Inc. into the largest producer of candy canes in the world.
Trivia on Candy Canes:
For 200 years the candy cane only came in the color white.
National Candy Cane Day is celebrated December 26th in U.S.
Each year 1.76 billion candy canes are made. It is enough to stretch from Santa Claus, In. to North Pole, Arkansas and back again 32 times.
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