Life Savers

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Life Savers originated in 1912 when Clarence Crane, head of the Queen Victoria Chocolate Company, created a mint that would not melt like chocolate in the humid Cleveland, Ohio, summer. His Pep O Mint flavored candy with a center hole looked like a miniature life preserver. (Ironically, his son, the Romantic poet Hart Crane, leapt to his death without a life preserver in the Gulf of Mexico 20 years later.)

By then, the Life Saver formula had been sold to brothers Robert and Edward Noble of Greenwich, Connecticut, who packaged them in a foil tube. Candies with new flavors of Orange, Lemon, and Lime were crystalline rather than opaque. Other early flavors included WintOgreen, CinnOmon, ClOve, LicOrice, ChocOlate, MaltOmilk, CrystOmint, Anise, Butter Rum, Cola, and Root Beer. In 1935 the Five Flavor roll was introduced, containing Pineapple, Orange, Cherry, Lemon, and Lime candies.