Hand cranked candy
May 13, 2016 12:47 PM   Subscribe

A restored Victorian rolling machine for making drop candy. So that's why it's called drop candy. More machines.

Unboxing another machine. Seems like Philadelphia was the place to buy these machines ...
posted by carter (116 comments total) 70 users marked this as a favorite
 
The pd videos are somehow intoxicatingly soothing to me. The candy's pretty good too. (bag of Humbugs sitting in a drawer being ignored right now.) They are really tasty.
posted by drewbage1847 at 12:53 PM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh I liked that.
posted by brambleboy at 12:57 PM on May 13, 2016


It must be the most satisfying feeling to break apart all of the candies at the end of the process. I could do that for hours.
posted by talkingmuffin at 1:03 PM on May 13, 2016 [17 favorites]


Between kneaded sugar, hand-cranks, and cracking apart cooled candies... this is satisfying on so many levels.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:04 PM on May 13, 2016 [18 favorites]


One of my favorite summer pleasures is going to Shriver's in Ocean City, NJ, and watching their equally old taffy machines at work. They also have drop machines and many of the rollers are on display.
posted by Miko at 1:06 PM on May 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


That is excellent.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:09 PM on May 13, 2016


Gotta love the yo-yo guy photobomb.
posted by painquale at 1:12 PM on May 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


..I have now ordered a bunch of candy. I started because I wanted to taste this mysterious nectar flavor, and then I was 'hey! Dr. Who candy for my Who fan friend! and dice candy for gaming night!'. I'm just saying, Lofty Pursuits is kind of a dangerous site.
posted by tavella at 1:17 PM on May 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


All parts of this process are great to watch, but there's something particularly satisfying for me about the big gob of sugar slowly entering the rollers.
posted by cman at 1:20 PM on May 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Oh my god the Lofty Pursuits people have SO MANY candy making videos and they're all so relaxing to watch.

My favorite part is when they cut the big mass with the scissors and all the unhardened pre-candy goop leaks out.
posted by griphus at 1:21 PM on May 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


There's a place in Kyoto that has an amazing Rube Goldberg machine that pops out little cakes. It didn't occur to me until watching this video to see if there was video of that machine—happily, there is.
posted by adamrice at 1:27 PM on May 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


griphus - every time they do that "pick it up by the corner, let molten lava run" thing - I get a warm feeling in my heart and a worry about my fingers getting burned!
posted by drewbage1847 at 1:27 PM on May 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Drop it like it's hot.
posted by the webmistress at 1:27 PM on May 13, 2016


Oh man - I just grabbed one of those humbugs - soooo gooood.
posted by drewbage1847 at 1:30 PM on May 13, 2016


I can't believe they make me wait almost 2 whole minutes before showing me actual candy, what an ordeal.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:30 PM on May 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


There's a place in Kyoto that has an amazing Rube Goldberg machine that pops out little cakes.

I'm pretty sure there's a company still manufacturing those machines, because it seems like just about everywhere has some kind of an-filled meibutsu served piping hot out of a copper-lined conveyor belt. Saw two competing shops with their own more-or-less-identical rigs in Miyajima, for instance. They're wonderfully droll, even so.
posted by fifthrider at 1:38 PM on May 13, 2016


I can't believe they make me wait almost 2 whole minutes before showing me actual candy, what an ordeal.

Exactly what I thought when they were feeding the goop through the roller. SHOW US THE OTHER SIDE!!!
posted by adept256 at 1:41 PM on May 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


If you're in the Denver are Hammond's Candies has a pretty good tour where you can watch this sort of stuff.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:44 PM on May 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


As a historical archaeology student who studies the Victorian period, how have I never heard of this or seen these videos? Why do I not have these candies while I practice Spencerian penmanship? I have been living my life all wrong.
posted by teponaztli at 1:45 PM on May 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


There's a place in Kyoto that has an amazing Rube Goldberg machine that pops out little cakes.

I love Rube Goldberg machines and have probably walked past that particular store a hundred times but never really thought of it as one. To me it is in the same category as the machines they use to make mini donuts at carnivals, full size ones at Krispy Kreme, or walnut cakes - they look neat, but are in fact quite practical for what they are doing and don't have any extra bells or whistles (which are kind of the whole point of a Rube Goldberg machine).
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:48 PM on May 13, 2016


Lofty Pursuits videos are my go-to soother. Candy pulling is so fascinating and hypnotic! Especially watching a length of candy go from golden to white just through the act of stretching... I love them. This video is one of my favorites.
posted by angeline at 1:50 PM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


It must be the most satisfying feeling to break apart all of the candies at the end of the process.

I read this comment before watching the video so I thought I was ready for it, but I WAS NOT.

When they said in the video, "if you're in Tallahassee, Florida, come see us", I basically said "hell yeah I will" out loud.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:56 PM on May 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


I don't even LIKE hard candy but my god do I want an enormous 300 degree glob of candylava and some asbestos mittens to play with it.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:02 PM on May 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


The candies were nice, but all I could focus on was the backsplash made of dominoes.
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:03 PM on May 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


Or the dude yo-yoing in the background.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:04 PM on May 13, 2016


It's not super useful at that temperature--still fairly liquid. Once sugar is at a kneadable/twistable/formable stage it'll be hot, but not so hot you can't work it by hand. (Then again I worked under this wunderkind pastry chef for a bit who would test sugar's readiness by dipping his fingers into ice water then right into the pot of boiling sugar while I looked on going OH GOD NO WHY STOP.)

Playing with sugar is super fun, and as long as you're even vaguely careful about it, really easy to do at home.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:06 PM on May 13, 2016


Is this where I can gleefully share my love for UK style rock candy? I found both a vintage video and new one! Even watching these videos don't take away the magic of lettering in a tube.
posted by Gor-ella at 2:12 PM on May 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


I like the stage of sugar cooking where you get thready little shards. SO NEAT.

Also shattering a sheet of sugar.

(say that three times fast)

OOH videos of sugar ribbons and of ribbon candy being made are also very soothing and interesting to watch. You shouldn't be able to DO that and yet. AND YET.
posted by angeline at 2:12 PM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm always reminded of the fascinating story of the Bradford Sweets Poisoning
The Bradford poison scandal led to an increase in regulations regarding the handling of chemicals by druggists via the UK Pharmacy Act of 1868. The Pharmacy Act in addition to the 1860 Adulteration of Food and Drink bill changed the manner by which ingredients could be used and combined, aiming to ensure the health of consumers.

Through drop candies and humbugs, our modern candies are that much safer.
posted by CrystalDave at 2:12 PM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


could someone, a bad person and criminal so obvsly not me who is innocent but SOMEONE ELSE, could someone hypothetically make a really sharp candy knife to stab someone and then eat the evidence

asking for a friend
posted by poffin boffin at 2:26 PM on May 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


I have to say this was not the path I assumed you would take when I hired you as my counsel.
posted by griphus at 2:28 PM on May 13, 2016 [17 favorites]


Every part of this was so soothing, up to and including somehow finding myself on the site buying 2 bags of nectar candies and 2 bags of humbugs.
posted by alleycat01 at 2:29 PM on May 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


could someone, a bad person and criminal so obvsly not me who is innocent but SOMEONE ELSE, could someone hypothetically make a really sharp candy knife to stab someone and then eat the evidence

Yup. I've cut myself on sugar. Fragility/shattering might be an issue--you'd probably do better with e.g. a candy cane that has been licked very carefully to a point and then used like a stiletto.

Hypothetically.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:31 PM on May 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


I can't believe they make me wait almost 2 whole minutes before showing me actual candy, what an ordeal.

The ordeal is in the fact that they only ship on Mondays and Tuesdays so it will for sure be next week before I get the candies I just ordered.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:56 PM on May 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


my new fantasy job is running a ye olde sweetshop where nobody ever comes and buys anything so I just eat my entire output
posted by BungaDunga at 3:02 PM on May 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


on special days I let toddlers in just so I can watch their little minds explode, but only one at a time so they don't overwhelm each other or me
posted by BungaDunga at 3:04 PM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


you could also have a toddler holding pen where their shrieking candy energy could be harnessed to power the candy machines
posted by poffin boffin at 3:14 PM on May 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


THIS IS THE MOST DELIGHTFUL THING I HAVE EVER SEEN

WATCHING THE CANDY COME OUT OF THE ROLLERS AND THEN DROPPED IS EVEN MORE CALMING AND MEDITATIVE THAN POPPING BUBBLE WRAP

I LOVE THIS SO MUCH
posted by duffell at 3:18 PM on May 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


I love candy making vids! thanks for this!
posted by OHenryPacey at 3:43 PM on May 13, 2016


ordered $25 worth of candy as a result of this.
posted by namewithoutwords at 4:03 PM on May 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


I thought the fantastic hand rolled panda face candy making had been posted to MF before, but I only found a different video thread about the same makers.
posted by jjj606 at 4:33 PM on May 13, 2016


I just lost like two hours of my life to watching these with my fascinated children.

" I started because I wanted to taste this mysterious nectar flavor, and then I was 'hey! Dr. Who candy for my Who fan friend! and dice candy for gaming night!'."

Literally exactly my husband's thought process, in fact you may be my husband.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:04 PM on May 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


[I only remembered this after I made this post, but if you like this sort of stuff, you may be interested in a kind of a 'previously' thing I posted a while back (which has now moved): Teddy Gray's Sweet Factory in the U.K (original Mefi post: here)]
posted by carter at 5:27 PM on May 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Okay, I had to immediately order some of those nectar drops. I had no choice. It was something completely out of my control.

So, thanks I guess.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:42 PM on May 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is how I am going to retire.

When I was a very little kid, at some of the Bicentennial Revolutionary War re-enactments there would be candy vendors, sometimes dressed up in 18th century clothes, sure, and sometimes dressed up as turn-of-the-century Victorian/Belle Epoque dandies. These people amazed 4-year-old me.

My folks were mad about the Root Beer Barrels, but I was fascinated with the Barley Candy Toys, they were enormous and hard, soon tuning sticky in just the right way after going at them a while, and tasted like nothing else on this earth and there was so much of it, your mom would throw it out days and days before you'd be done, as it was days and days after you had started.

You really can't find them now, and it was one of those weird childhood memories I assumed I had made up with the vagaries of mind and time... until I found this.

In this age of 3D printing and cheap silicone, pewter molds are no longer a necessity.

So, now I want to make candy. The once-or-twice-a-year treat candy, the candy kids really know is special, and not the convenience store crap. I want a broad-striped dress-shirt with separate collar and sleeve-garters and a bowler-hat as I try to figure out which treat the three-year-old is pointing at through the glass of my mobile candy-store display, set up at farmer's markets and county fairs and parish picnics, while his mom asks for a small bag of Monster Ultra Zero barrels for her and Daddy on the side. Yes, with all the caffeine, in a bin labeled "NOT For Kids."

This vid, however is another sort of challenge. Gonna need to figure out how to make new drop-mold-cylinder-pairs from brass with modern CNC tech, BRB.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:59 PM on May 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


I've been watching these videos for a few months now. Haven't tried the candy yet, but the videos are always fun.

I also love that they call the big horkin' lump of excess sugar that they have left over when they make one of their image candies "unicorn droppings", and they sell it to people who want to crush it down for their own baking or just eat it or whatever.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:09 PM on May 13, 2016


And: Slap*Happy, can I join you? I can wear a frilly apron. And we can have the swing music going like they have at this store. (If you watch a lot of these videos you'll hear that sometimes they use someone doing a swing cover of an Elvis Costello song.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:21 PM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was gonna nix the swing, and then I remembered player pianos are a thing, and swing-era scrolls would sound fantastic with Storyland New Orleans Jazz scrolls... so yes! Gotta have a fancy bonnet to go with my bowler, tho.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:36 PM on May 13, 2016


I totally agree on the relaxingness of this video!

Also, hummina hummina that is a handsome machine. I bet those heavy brass rollers are so satisfying to handle.
posted by theatro at 6:44 PM on May 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was actually wrong about the Elvis Costello, it's an old-timey cover of this song but in my defense that sounds a lot like Elvis Costello singing.

....I actually used to read this candy cookbook a crapton when I was in junior high - I came across it in the library or something and would browse endlessly. It was something from the Time-Life collection in the early 80's. I actually recently tracked it down and it has all sorts of funky recipes for barley sugar and such; some of the flavors for the hard candy drops would be really funky.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:46 PM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Someone please share their nectar with meeeeee

i izzzzz not a bee i izzzz a hummingbird
posted by maryr at 7:00 PM on May 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


great post!
Yet another example of why peace, not war, is the only way.
War required gorgeous brass candy-making molds be melted down into bullets.
semi-apologies for getting a bit political.
posted by spikesf at 7:05 PM on May 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


i love brass. I love my teeth more than I want to buy these candies though.
posted by rebent at 7:06 PM on May 13, 2016


Okay, I had to immediately order some of those nectar drops. I had no choice. It was something completely out of my control.

Him describing the flavor as indescribable was like the smoothest sales pitch ever. There's no way I'm not ordering some of those after that.
posted by edeezy at 7:37 PM on May 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


could someone, a bad person and criminal so obvsly not me who is innocent but SOMEONE ELSE, could someone hypothetically make a really sharp candy knife to stab someone and then eat the evidence

Orange is the New Black Spoiler Alert: Yes. While searching the prison for a cell phone in season 3, Piper finds all sorts of contraband, including a candy shiv.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:07 PM on May 13, 2016


Gonna need to figure out how to make new drop-mold-cylinder-pairs from brass with modern CNC tech, BRB.

Okay, how DID they make the original brass rollers? How did they get the candy designs in them?
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:17 PM on May 13, 2016


MetaFilter: They were enormous and hard, soon tuning sticky in just the right way after going at them a while
posted by ArmandoAkimbo at 8:32 PM on May 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


I was gonna nix the swing, and then I remembered player pianos are a thing, and swing-era scrolls would sound fantastic with Storyland New Orleans Jazz scrolls... so yes! Gotta have a fancy bonnet to go with my bowler, tho.

You could play music from the Hot Sugar Band

Okay, how DID they make the original brass rollers? How did they get the candy designs in them?

In my head I'm picturing a bigger, brass brass-roller roller, and another, bigger...
posted by BungaDunga at 8:51 PM on May 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Okay, how DID they make the original brass rollers? How did they get the candy designs in them?

I'd guess some kind of lost-material (probably wax) casting technique (at least that's how I'd make one if someone told me to try).
posted by sparklemotion at 9:05 PM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


The dominoes tho! I was pleased to see my beloved Green River amongst the soda fountain words along the top edge.
posted by sweetmarie at 10:46 PM on May 13, 2016


loved these, we watched a bunch of them to relax
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:59 AM on May 14, 2016


I want to work there and make drop candy all day. Thanks for posting this .. going to the site now to order all the candy.
posted by Kangaroo at 5:13 AM on May 14, 2016


I swear I saw one of those candy rollers made into a lamp in a funky antique shop in Rhode Island just a couple of weeks ago and now I am very, very unhappy that I did not buy it immediately.

My father collected marine antiques and had a weakness for brass. He'd hoist some awful, barnacle-encrusted thing from a bin, scrape at it with a coin and declare in a conspiratorial whisper "solid brass!" My home is filled with beautiful lamps, binnacles, portholes, flare guns and more, all gleaming brass. My childhood was tinged with the ammonia scent of Brasso.

The old brass rollers pull my love of sweet things into the mix and now thinking of that wonderful unappreciated lamp makes me feel very sad. Wish I could go back and buy it now.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:29 AM on May 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Holy shit that engineering. Those gears. "What's this from, a tank transmission? Nah, just a little hand cranked doohicky from the 1800s."
posted by Rhomboid at 6:46 AM on May 14, 2016


a lot of old brass (and modern brass for that matter) has a fair amount of lead in it...I wonder if any is transferred to the hot sugar. Probably not enough to worry about, but that was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this.
posted by stilgar at 12:04 PM on May 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


The craziness caused by lead poisoning would likely be attributed to extreme sugar rush anyway...
posted by halfbuckaroo at 4:18 PM on May 14, 2016


Oh, Metafilter? Do you like Victorian Candy AND Douglas Adams? Yes, I know you do, no need to pant that way. The new video from Lofty Pursuits may be for you!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:29 PM on May 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yay new video!

And YAY NEW CANDY! That is the PERFECT birthday gift for a friend whose birthday was yesterday - he and I bonded over HITCHHIKERS (we dated briefly, and our second date consisted of listening to his CD of the radio series, both of us reciting key passages in tandem along with the recording). Dude is even from Florida!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:46 AM on May 15, 2016


So... time to write bad poetry, eh?
posted by maryr at 10:23 AM on May 15, 2016


Oh man. That story about having pizza with Douglas Adams at his first New York book signing.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:31 AM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I would pay like $50 to go to a candy-making workshop where I got to roll and break apart these things for an hour.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:40 AM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


By the way, there's more about the yo-yoing guy in the Tutti-Frutti image candy video.
posted by tavella at 11:00 AM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Okay, how DID they make the original brass rollers? How did they get the candy designs in them?

In my head I'm picturing a bigger, brass brass-roller roller, and another, bigger...


So, it's brass rollers all the way down!
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:14 PM on May 15, 2016


In my head I'm picturing a bigger, brass brass-roller roller, and another, bigger...

I'd guess some kind of lost-material (probably wax) casting technique (at least that's how I'd make one if someone told me to try).


Have you ever heard of a tool and die maker? Making these die-molds is exactly the kind of thing they do (did). It's a specialized manufacturing profession chock full of mechanical geniuses. Specifically, these are "roller dies" or "rotary dies."

A culinary note, as well: I was thinking about how the video asserts that the name "drop" for this sort of candy comes from the action of dropping the candies to break them apart. This didn't jibe with what I know about other historic recipes - the term "drop" for small candies definitely predates mechanized manufacturing. I checked to make sure, and found plenty of sources. One is the Italian Confectioner, 1829, which describes an entirely non-mechanized process of making candy and medicine drops by hand, and this would predate the kinds of machines that mass-manufacture drops. Another is the Food Timeline, which cites the 1723 Cooks and Confectioners Dictionary for several "drop" recipes there. The Food Timeline's entry on Lemon Drops also includes an analog drop recipe. In context the term "drop" really seems to relate to the action of letting hot sugar liquid drop from a spoon or pan to gel in a round lozenge shape. So, as with so many things, cute story, false etymology.
posted by Miko at 7:27 AM on May 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


hm. Well, there's no argument that the current candies are not dropped. Language shifts, after all.
posted by rebent at 12:36 PM on May 16, 2016


I guess the proof of the pudding is if we were to search for drop candies, would we ge t mostly droplet candies or dropped candies? Well, a google search for Drop Candy gets.... anime. Anime girls. I'm going to maybe stop investigating this at work.
posted by rebent at 12:38 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


For something like that you need to search historical archives. We just call them "drops" because little round candies have been called "drops" for four or five centuries at least.
posted by Miko at 6:28 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hey! This is my local candy, ice cream, and game store! I was there just a couple weeks ago for Tabletop Day--they make the candy in an area off to the left of the ice cream parlor part, and there are these barstools on a counter with a glass partition, between the observer and the candy-maker. You can watch them make the candy and it's like the coolest thing ever.

The crew at Lofty's is always super-friendly, and willing to answer all kinds of questions. Also, they sell the call the cooled, unmolded end bits of the candy "unicorn droppings". and then sell them for like $4 a pound. I like to smash them with a hammer to make candy sprinkles and use them to decorate cakes.
posted by PearlRose at 8:51 AM on May 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


you GUYS did you see how they made this enormous candy cane for an elderly elephant ahhhhhh *joyous weeps*
posted by angeline at 7:54 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


So lovely and high bandwidth. The cooling table birthday cake and birthday restoration mystery is GREAT.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 8:31 PM on May 17, 2016


Finally got around to watching this and I love it. (My dentist might not . . . . .) Thanks for posting, carter.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:47 AM on May 18, 2016


I just got an email from the Lofty Pursuits sales department this morning:
Many of you have been getting our candy for years, and we are here because of you. The first of you found us when we did our our KickStarter campaign back in 2012. Your help let us get and restore most of this equipment that we use. Thanks for being here for us all these years.

If you did not know, some of our candy making videos, particularly the one about making our Nectar Drops went viral over the weekend. Oh my goodness, we are so humbled by the response. Let me welcome the folks who just found our candy and candy making videos and thank you for your purchase.
The rest of the email was a very apologetic explanation that because of the unexpected response, some of the orders would be shipped a little later than usual....

I shot them a note on their contact page, telling them "by the way, I think I know why your videos went viral this weekend," and I sent them this link and told them that if anyone wanted to sign in and say hi, we'd all probably freak out.

(ponders) ....I wonder what some MeFi image candy would look like?....or taste like?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:02 AM on May 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't think "bean" is really a flavor, more like a texture. Maybe they could be shaped like tiny hamburgers that taste like a 9V battery. (And that's why you don't take suggestions for candy design from the internet.)
posted by Rhomboid at 7:16 AM on May 19, 2016


I got the email too, and I swung between being sorry Metafilter caused everyone to pull double shifts to pleased we could give a boost to their business. Maybe the least we could do would be to track down that mystery patent for their cooling table that Ogre Lawless linked.
posted by sweetmarie at 7:39 AM on May 19, 2016


From the video:

Patent hunt tips
The patent office does not have a text search as early as this patent table was made. Now that we have a fixed date for the patent being issued (March 31st, 1891) in theory you can just go through all the patents of that day. That range was 449099 - 449652.

The inventor would have been GEORGE S. COLLUM
and the item is in the field called either a candy cooling table or a confectioners cooler.

GEORGE S. COLLUM had more than just a few candy patents, and more than just a few table patents, but we're trying to find the one from 1891.

His factory was in Hartford CT. We'd love to find photos or anything relating to this firm.
posted by sweetmarie at 7:43 AM on May 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


The patent that they are looking for appears to be US 449,577 (USPTO link), (Google Patents Link).

It may be of interest to some that the first thing my search turned up was Canadian patent number 36728, which on a superficial level appears equivalent.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:24 AM on May 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I got the email too. We are naughty bad sugarholics, making people work overtime for our fix. :(
posted by angeline at 9:40 AM on May 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ok! so looking at the census records:
George Collum (Born in Sept 1833 in Massachusetts to parents from Vermont) living in Hartford Connecticut was married at the age of 64 (in 1897) to Mary Collum (parents from Ireland) who was 32 at the time, so literally half his age.

It looks like he may have been a veteran of the Civil War, and received a pension. He is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery.

There's also this 1872-73 Hartford Directory that lists a Collum & Bryant company, that is identified as being a confectioner (located at 143 Main St Hartford, Connecticut). It seems to now be an empty lot.

This 1867-68 Business Directory found here which lists Collum & Bryant on page 121 of the pdf under Confectionery, Fruit and Confectionery (135) and Ice Cream Saloons (143).
posted by sweetmarie at 10:31 AM on May 19, 2016


I have not gotten an email, so possibly I got my order in early enough to get some of the existing stock, and thus will have candy this week!
posted by tavella at 10:58 AM on May 19, 2016


sparklemotion: "The patent that they are looking for appears to be US 449,577 (USPTO link), (Google Patents Link)."

I emailed the link to sparklemotion's comment to Lofty Pursuits - here's hoping they show up and comment.
posted by namewithoutwords at 6:59 PM on May 19, 2016


Perhaps they can pay for an account with candy :)
posted by tavella at 8:04 PM on May 19, 2016


Candy day! Delivered within 7-10 business days even with all of the hullabaloo. Nectar is indeed divine sugary goodness. I dont think I've ever had candies that were like little jewels. Also pretty pleased with myself for going for the Damfino too, perfect way to try all different kinds of flavors.
posted by sweetmarie at 6:02 PM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Eponysterical! (Glad the candy was good as advertised! I bite my lip firmly when browsing 3D printing sites and articles, as I will completely buy one and print out barley-candy toy molds for space-ships and zap-guns and magic wands and enchanted rings! "One lick to rule them all, one lick to find them, three licks to *CRUNCH*... the answer was three." And Middle Earth may never know...)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:13 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


My candy came today too!

I kept it a secret from Mr. Motion, and just told him to watch the drop candy video, and right when Greg finished his not-sales-pitch about the Nectar flavour, I popped the bag on his desk. I think he appreciated the immediate sensory feedback.

Now he's watching his 3rd PD.net video. I have a feeling we'll be making more orders soon.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:42 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


There are like 987 million reasons why smell-o-vision is a terrible, horrible, no good idea. This video is not one of those reasons.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:56 PM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I find it mesmerizing when looking at that machine make the lemon drops. Why aren't there candy stores making candy using old traditions and orginal machines like this? I think it adds to the taste knowing this was not made by CandyMachine 2000 v10.
posted by mrpoet at 11:38 AM on May 29, 2016


They mention in the video that rollers like they are using are quite rare -- they think most of them were recycled during WWII scrap metal drives.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:42 AM on May 29, 2016


I just got an email that said my order status was "on the way to the post office". Hee!

I got a bag of Babelfish for my friend, a bag of damifino for me, and a bag of Tardis candy for each of us. Will report in after consumption.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:49 PM on May 29, 2016


Why aren't there candy stores making candy using old traditions and orginal machines like this? I think it adds to the taste knowing this was not made by CandyMachine 2000 v10.

I wouldn't mind having candy made from reproduction machinery. For me at least, what I care about more is that they're traditional recipes and techniques.
posted by teponaztli at 8:22 PM on May 29, 2016


oh noooooo I am almost certainly powerless to resist ordering some of these for delivery during my trip to America in July

oh noooo
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:37 PM on May 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Seriously might need to order these Nectar drops on the regular...
posted by sweetmarie at 1:48 PM on May 30, 2016


Is there a version of this store in Australia? I wanna try out the nectar stuff, but shipping and potential quarantine issues would make things waaaaaay too pricey.
posted by divabat at 8:03 PM on June 1, 2016


yay my package is here!

The Tardis candy is quite good, and I think I'll take the Damifino along on a camping trip tomorrow to share. The birthday boy will be tied up until Monday and will have to report on the Babelfish candy then.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:53 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mine is on its way to the post office!

Ahhhhhh I want my peppermint pearls
posted by angeline at 6:39 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


ALRIGHT FINE I'll order some myself. You people have convinced me.
posted by teponaztli at 7:12 PM on June 2, 2016


yeah, me too, especially because they have bablefish back in stock, and a new (to me) item - Victorian Snap Stick Candy

I wonder, why do they use the scissors to cut the candy log, instead of slicing it with the dough scraper?
posted by rebent at 5:36 AM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


They can then pick it up with the scissors and move it away to another part of the table fairly quickly - probably just more efficient. The sugar is still quite hot and pliable at that point, you wouldn't want to try moving it with a dough scraper and your hands.
posted by angeline at 6:19 AM on June 3, 2016


I wonder, too, if it has to do with the fact that the bottom of the mass is the coldest/hardest. If you're trying to cut from above, you're attacking the harder sections by pressing softer candy into them. If you're cutting with scissors, the blade is against the hardest section and pressing it up into the softer material -- that might make a significant different in how well things cut.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:04 AM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, my guess is the scraper has been tried and found wanting. Victorian candy-making is all about the efficiency, dontcha know.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:07 AM on June 3, 2016


I'm thinking I should try peppermint pearls in my next order, do report back on them! My Damfino contained several custom design orders and what appears to be a pumpkin that has a cinnamon spice flavor. It is fun trying to guess the flavors and then not having a way of knowing the 'right' answer. Part of me wants to stock up on bags and bags of the Nectar Drops, mind the pointy star shapes tho!
posted by sweetmarie at 8:55 AM on June 3, 2016


Oh, I suppose this is where I should, as a local customer of Lofty's, plan a weekend trip to the shop to scope out what isn't available on their website. Also, old-fashioned ice cream sodas.

I know there's a bag of their hard caramels in my house from the last trek I made last month...
posted by PearlRose at 12:18 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


CANDY GOODNESS ARRIVED

I like the peppermint pearls. Mine came in Christmas colors - opaque white, clear green and clear red. They're sweetly pepperminty without being too much.

The nectar does taste a little like pound cake. That's getting ordered again. Along with the root beer drops, which are DELICIOUS.
posted by angeline at 6:04 PM on June 8, 2016


Babelfish handed off to the birthday boy (belatedly) tonight. He was very pleased.

One of the flavors <I got in the Damifino bag was really intriguing - some funky sort of spice flavor. Horehound, maybe?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:26 PM on June 8, 2016


Candy arrived the other day. Holy moly. The "nectar" is...sweet...then something else. Got a number of different flavors - all of them are great!
posted by notsnot at 8:02 PM on June 10, 2016


Mine FINALLY shipped -- I had one of the dastardly lollipops that held up the whole order -- so I should be tasting the nectar drops soon!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:10 PM on June 11, 2016


This is the best thread to have in your Recent Activity. Every few days it's an update from somebody receiving a treat.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:30 PM on June 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


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