Early Glassine Wrappers

October 8, 2010 at 10:01 am Leave a comment

Glassine is a kind of paper. It is thin, translucent, moisture and grease resistant. It is in wide use today, you’ve seen glassine envelopes for stamp collecting, or maybe bought a sack of hot roasted peanuts in a glassine bag.

In the ‘teens, the packaging of candy changed dramatically. Old-time candy was packaged in bulk, and  measured out at the point of sale. You can see the problems with this system, though: it was slow, you needed  a clerk to serve each customer, it might be unhygienic, and it didn’t encourage any kind of brand loyalty.

Glassine was one of the new materials that made it possible for candy makers to package their goods individually. They could put their name on the package, thus enhancing brand identity. And glassine allowed for a cloudy glimpse of the tasty candy inside.

Here are some examples of early glassine packaging. I especially like these images because they show examples of the earliest candy bars produced by small and long-gone candy makers.

As the “Glassine Bags” ad shows, glassine was also useful for packaging things like peanuts, popcorn, and small candies because it could be glued into the shape of a bag or envelope.

Of course, today the flexible and transparent poly bags have taken the place of glassine. But in our time of “green” packaging, maybe we’ll see a glassine comeback!

Ads appeared in Confectioners Journal, 1919 and 1920.

Entry filed under: 1890 to WW I, Packaging.

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Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure

Welcome to Candy Professor

Candy in American Culture What is it about candy? Here you'll find the forgotten, the strange, the curious, the surprising. Our candy story, one post at a time.

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