The Weird History of Conversation Hearts

The Weird History of Conversation Hearts

Everyone knows conversation hearts. They’ve been around forever. And whether you love them or hate them (and some people REALLY hate them), they’re a staple of the Valentine’s Day season. 

But did you knowbefore they were the colorful, heart-shaped candy that we know todaythat they got their start as apothecary lozenges?

In the 1840s, sweet lozenges were a popular way of administering medicine. A Boston pharmacist named Oliver Chase invented a machine that made them much easier to produce, and, today, his invention is credited as the first American candy machine. 

So, where does Valentine’s Day come in? 

After teaming up with his brother, Chase turned the lozenges into a wafer candy, which grew very popular during the Civil War. Legend has it that, because so many people sent love letters to troops, they began stamping the messages into the wafers instead.

So, the sayings that we know todayyou know, like “Kiss Me” and “XOXO”served an important purpose all those years ago. Who knew? 

Has your opinion of conversation hearts changed?

I know mine has... 

Tell us what you think!

1 comment

  • Wendy

    Sweet history! And one of my favorite Valentine’s Day treats!