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Classic Candy From Your Youth

Got a sweet tooth? Clark Bar and Necco Wafers are just a few of the vintage candies from your childhood still around today.

  • Classic Candy You Can Still Enjoy Today

    Halloween is right around the corner and we have candy on our mind — classic candy, that is. Remember Necco Wafers? What about Chuckles? Well, this candy and some of your other favorites are still in stores today! Scroll through our slideshow of retro candy and then let us know which one of these tasty sweets you love in the "Tell Us What You Think" section below. — Mike Morgan

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  • Necco Wafers (created in 1847)

    The granddaddy of American candy, these hard flavored wafers from the New England Confectionery Co. (Necco, get it?) were carried by Union soldiers in the Civil War. The U.S. government distributed them to GIs during World War II, creating a generation of loyal customers. A couple of years ago Necco experimented with a version softened with glycerin. Sales fell 35 percent. Now the old formula is back. You don't mess with a classic. — Mike Morgan

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  • Candy Buttons (origin uncertain)

    There doesn't seem to be a hard date for when the old Cumberland Valley Co. started making these ubiquitous rounded pegs of candy that you peel off a strip of paper. Necco has been making them since 1980 — three-quarters of a billion of them a year, in fact. — Mike Morgan

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  • Bonomo Turkish Taffy (1912)

    The classic "Smack it and Crack it" bar — which isn't really taffy at all, but nougat — was one of the first candies advertised on TV. — Mike Morgan

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  • Sky Bar (1938)

    From Necco; hard to find. It was the first molded chocolate bar with a soft flavored filling. — Mike Morgan

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  • Zagnut (1930)

    A peanut butter-and-coconut confection, its lack of chocolate has rendered it a niche candy. But it's popular among troops in Iraq and Afghanistan because it doesn't melt. — Mike Morgan

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  • Clark Bar (1886)

    Pittsburgh's original candy bar (the abandoned factory is still there). — Mike Morgan

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  • Clark's Teaberry gum (1900)

    Remember Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass's catchy "Teaberry Shuffle" jingle from the 1960s? The company is still based in Buffalo, N.Y.; the minty gum, perhaps appropriately, is made in Mexico. — Mike Morgan

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  • Chuckles (1921)

    Impossibly sweet and kaleidoscopically colored, these jelly candies have a knack for finding their way into the tightest tooth crevices. — Mike Morgan

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  • Fruit Stripe gum (circa 1960s)

    This is the first nonminty stick gum that many boomers remember. — Mike Morgan

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  • Smith Brothers Cough Drops (1872)

    William and Andrew Smith were actually producing their cough drops for years, but in 1872 they began boxing them — with their bearded selves on the label — to prevent sales of knockoffs. Long since overtaken by cough-medicine manufacturers, the brothers' drops are now made by a private-equity company in Santa Monica, Calif. — Mike Morgan

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  • Cow Tales (1917)

    Goetze's Candy started out as the Baltimore Chewing Gum Co., but it hit a home run with its Bulls-Eyes caramel creams. They're still sold today, as are these long, thin, taillike spinoffs. — Mike Morgan

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  • Bubble Gum Cigars (origin uncertain)

    Their genesis is seemingly lost to history, but generations of new dads have handed these out to pals on the arrival of a new baby girl (pink) or boy (blue). — Mike Morgan

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  • Candy Necklace (1958)

    Rumor has it they were invented in northern Europe, but on these shores they're produced by the Smarties Candy Co., makers of another vintage classic. — Mike Morgan

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  • Zero Bar (1920)

    Caramel, peanut and almond nougat smothered in white fudge — what's not to like? It was first made by the Hollywood Brands candy company in — where else? — Minneapolis. Now Zero Bar is a Hershey brand. — Mike Morgan

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  • Flying Saucers/Satellite Wafers (circa 1960s)

    These rice paper saucer-shape disks, filled with candy, had a brief spell of popularity here — but a 2004 United Kingdom survey named them the most popular sweet of all time. — Mike Morgan

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  • Pixy Stix (1952)

    "Trust me," Bart Simpson told the gullible hyperactive kids next door, "there's no sugar in Pixy Stix!" Actually, the treat was originally sold as a sugary-drink mix, served up in their own straws. Turned out kids loved emptying the contents right into their mouths, and a legend was born. — Mike Morgan

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  • Wax Bottles (early 20th century)

    The official brand name of the famous wax bottle with flavored drink inside, now owned by Tootsie Roll Industries, is Nik-L-Nip. But there are knockoffs aplenty out there. — Mike Morgan

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  • Licorice Pipe (origin uncertain) and Wax Lips (early 20th century)

    An acquired taste, to be sure, though these have been around forever. Don't tell health-conscious New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but the Finnish government has banned advertisements for them, fearing they'll lure kids into a life of dangerous pipe smoking. Wax lips are flavored, however most people tend to toss them after their teeth have sufficiently chewed up the mouthpiece. That classic design is protected by a patent. — Mike Morgan

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  • Bubble Gum Cigarettes (origin uncertain)

    There are of course candy cigarettes, those little chalky candies that don't look much like cigarettes at all, and then there are these beauties: rounded sticks of gum that come wrapped in a paper shield that mimics the real thing, right down to the filter. Although the gum is so-so, the visual effect is amazing. The Finnish government would never approve. — Mike Morgan

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  • Bit-O-Honey (1924)

    Similar to Necco's classic Mary Jane (1914) but a bit harder to find, this chewy bar is primarily a honey-flavored taffy containing almond bits. Like Mary Jane, it's also a dependable filling extractor. — Mike Morgan

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  • Sugar Daddy (1925)

    Originally called Papa Sucker (not much of an improvement), the big, chewy caramel bar predates its offspring, the more popular Sugar Babies, by a decade. — Mike Morgan

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