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Butterfly

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Murphums (1997–2010)

Murphums (1997–2010), c. 2009. This world has lost one its very finest purrers.

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Candy Timeline

I started making this list last summer, when for some reason I was suddenly very keen on determining the golden age of American mass-market candy manufacturing. I guessed it would be the early 1900s, but it turns out it was the 1920s, which makes sense (perhaps due to cheaper bulk ingredients; advances in machinery, transport, and advertising; and, as my friend Jamie has suggested, the continuing development of preservatives) and the 1930s (quick, cheap energy?). Really the whole thing is an apt reflection of the 20th century’s mores and like-it-or-not progress: the Atomic Fireball in the 1950s, of course, and Tic Tacs (they looked like mother’s little helper and the Pill) in the 1960s. The 1970s are suitably colorful and outsized; the 1980s likewise predictably cold (Wrigley’s Extra), pretentious (Skor), and cracked-out (Nerds).

My source was often wikipedia, so I’m not claiming this is the end-all-be-all of confectionery factual accuracy. (I did try to use the candy companies’ official sites when possible.) But at the same time, the detailed history of Chuckles is generally the kind of thing that wikipedia gets right.

1893 – Good & Plenty
1893 – Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit and Spearmint
1896 – Tootsie Roll
1899 – Chiclets
1899 – Dentyne

1900 – Hershey bar
1907 – Hershey’s Kisses

1911 – Clark bar (hard to say; definitely by WWI, but probably earlier)
1912 – Necco Wafers
(as we know them; really since 1847)
1913 – Pep-o-mint Life Savers
1914 – Wrigley’s Doublemint
1914 – Mary Jane
1917 – Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews

1920 – Oh Henry!
1920 – Jujyfruits and Jujubes
1921 – Baby Ruth
1921 – Mounds
1921 – Chuckles
1922 – Charleston Chew
1923 – Butterfinger
1923 – Milky Way
1923 – Cadbury Cream Egg (not mass-marketed until 1971)
1924 – Bit-O-Honey
1925 – Sugar Daddy
1925 – Mr. Goodbar
1925 – Goobers
1927 – Raisinets
1927 – Pez (in Austria; introduced to U.S. in 1952)
1928 – Milk Duds
1928 – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
1928 – Dubble Bubble (first bubble gum!)

1930 – Snickers
1930 – Zagnut
1931 – Tootsie Pop
1931 – Heath bar
1932 – 3 Musketeers
1932 – PayDay
1932 – Mars bar
1935 – Kit Kat
1935 – Five Flavor Life Savers
1936 – 5th Avenue
1938 – Krackel
1938 – Nestle Crunch
1939 – Chunky (approximate date)

1940 – Mike and Ike
1941 – M&M’s
1942 – Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip
1943 – York Peppermint Pattie
1945 – Dots
1946 – Almond Joy (replacing the similar Dream bar, created in 1936)
1946* – Bazooka (comics introduced in 1953)
1949 – Whoppers (replacing the similar Giants, created in 1939)
1949 – Junior Mints
1949 – Smarties
1949* – Jolly Rancher

1952* – Pixy Stix
1954 – Atomic Fireball
1954 – Peanut M&M’s

1958* – Candy necklace

1962 – Fruit Stripe Gum (approx.; site says “early 1960s”)
1962 – Now and Later
1962 – Lemonheads
1962 – Red Hots
1963 – SweeTarts
1964 – Trident sugarless gum
1966 – Razzles
1966 – $100,000 bar
1969 – Tic Tac

1975 – Bubble Yum
1975 – Freedent
1976 – Big Red
1976 – Starburst (introduced in Europe in 1960)
1976 – Cadbury Caramello Bar
1976 – Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstoppers**
1977 – Reggie!
1977 – Bubblicious
1978 – Whatchamacallit
1978 – Reese’s Pieces
1979 – Skittles (introduced in Europe in 1973)
1979 – Twix (introduced in Europe in 1967)
1979 – Wrigley’s Big Red
1979 – Hubba Bubba

1980 – Big League Chew

1981 – Skor
1983 – Nerds
1984 – Wrigley’s Extra
1985 – Sour Patch Kids

* source kinda sketchy
** but non-name-brand gobstoppers have been around for much, much longer

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Amazing Strangers, NYC

This is an incredible slice of NYC life (specifically centered on Union Square). Seriously: Dig in. Thanks to Skater Bob, who is often featured here, for the tip.

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Bunny with a Pancake on His Head

Just now I was googling images of Bunny Wailer and, having typed “Bunny W—,” found that the autofiller wondered if the phrase “Bunny With A Pancake On His Head” was the direction I was going. It wasn’t, but, actually, now that I think about it…

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John Updike, 1968

From a Paris Review interview. I love how humbly he maps out his daily writing regimen, as if it’s something any old hack could adopt. Needless to say, I’m trying to.

I write every weekday morning. I try to vary what I am doing, and my verse, or poetry, is a help here. Embarked on a long project, I try to stay with it even on dull days. For every novel, however, that I have published, there has been one unfinished or scrapped. Some short stories — I think offhand of “Lifeguard,” “The Taste of Metal,” “My Grandmother’s Thimble” — are fragments salvaged and reshaped. Most came right the first time — rode on their own melting, as Frost said of his poems. If there is no melting, if the story keeps sticking, better stop and look around. In the execution there has to be a “happiness” that can’t be willed or foreordained. It has to sing, click, something. I try instantly to set in motion a certain forward tilt of suspense or curiosity, and at the end of the story or novel to rectify the tilt, to complete the motion.

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Egg Archive, September 2006

Just got back from Brucefest III, where the Egg played three Springsteen covers to a packed house in honor of the Boss’s Sept. 23 birthday. The event, conceived, organized, and MC’ed by the one and only Rick Wormwood (of Rick Wormwood and the Rumbling Proletariat) has become a Portland, Maine, institution. Some of these tunes may make it into our set in the future.

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