Pez from Who Invented Your Favorite Foods? (Slideshow)

Who Invented Your Favorite Foods? (Slideshow)

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Pez

In the mid-1920s, an Austrian by the name of Eduard Haas invented a small, brick-shaped peppermint candy which he called Pez, short for pfefferminze, or ‘peppermint’ in German. It was a hit among his friends, and as an anti-smoking advocate, he thought it could be a good cigarette alternative. So in 1947 he developed a Pez dispenser that resembled a cigarette lighter and dispensed them one at a time. Sales weren’t great because they were marketed to adults, but once he decided to sell them to children in 1955, along with putting cartoon heads on top of the dispensers and introducing fruit flavors, it took off, and remains a cultural touchstone to this day. Bet you didn’t know the inspiration for the Pez dispenser was a cigarette lighter!