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Candies & Desserts

Pez DispensersPez Candies - Pez candy was invented in Vienna, Austria in 1927 by Eduard Haas III (a.k.a. "Wilbur Wright of Peppermint") when Haas combined peppermint oil and sugar to make a black breath lozenge which he called Pez (from the German word "Phefferminz").

In 1948 the Pez-Haas Company created the Pez dispenser which ejected small brick shaped Pez candies from a flip top Pez device. In 1952 when the company moved to New York City, it merchandised the Pez candies to children, by manufacturing the dispensers adorned with the heads of popular cartoon and comic book characters.

The first novelty dispensers featured the head of Mickey Mouse. Pez candy appeared in the Steven Spielberg movie E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and in Rob Reiner's movie Stand By Me (1986) when one boy said: "If I could only have one food to eat for the rest of my life? That's easy. Pez. Cherry-flavored Pez."

Vintage Pez Ad

Today, Pez candy dispensers are worth big bucks and are bought and sold at conventions around the country, through collectors' magazines and even on the Internet.

On episode No. 31 "The Pez Dispenser" on the sitcom SEINFELD/NBC/1990-98 standup comedian Jerry Seinfeld placed his Tweety Pie Pez candy dispenser on the leg of his friend Elaine at a classical piano recital and made her burst out laughing.

On the drama THE PRETENDER/NBC/1996-2000, Michael T. Weiss played a genius named Jarod who carried a Pez candy dispenser as a recurring reminder of his lost youth...a youth he spent locked in a think-tank called The Centre that exploited his extraordinary cerebral talents.

On the sitcom MAD ABOUT YOU/NBC/1992-99 Ira Buchman (John Pankow) calls his cousin, Paul Buchman (Paul Reiser) "Pez-Head." (Ira calls Paul "Splinky.")

When visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, visit the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia at 214 California Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010.

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