Life’s a Ball with Jaffas

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

When a lolly defines an era and becomes a national icon, it has as much to do with cultural ritual as gustatory pleasure. From the myriad backyard confectioners operating in Australia in the early twentieth century, Stedman’s became one of the industry giants during the 1920s and 1930s, alongside Allen’s, MacRobertson’s, Hoadley’s, Small’s, Plaistowe, Mastercraft, Dollar Sweets, and Darrell Lea. James Stedman (1840–1913) was the son of a convict. Apprenticed in 1854, this currency lad (a term denoting boys of the first generation to be born in the colony) founded Sweetacres, the makers of Minties (wrappers with Moments Like These cartoons), Fantales (wrappers with film-star biographies), Cobbers, Marella Jubes, Throaties, and the lollies Australians recall most often, Jaffas.