Retro | Food and Snacks | Life
The History Of The Pez Dispenser Is A Lot Weirder Than You Think
Basically everyone has owned a Pez dispenser in their lives, right? The iconic shape of the little candy containers is one of those things that have been around for generations.
You can get Pez dispensers with all kinds of characters on them, whether it's your favorite Disney characters, iconic super heroes, and even famous people like Elvis!
But apparently these weren't originally intended for children! Despite the fact that we really only remember them as these toy-like plastic figures, the original Pez dispensers were actually a little bit different.
They are actually shaped the way they are for a very specific reason: They are supposed to look like cigarette lighters!
They were invented in Austria by a man named Eduard Haas III. He named them PEZ as a reference to the German word for peppermint "pfefferminz".
But why did they look like cigarette lighters? Well, their original purpose wasn't to be just a candy dispenser.
The Pez dispensers were made for adults who were actually trying to quit smoking. They originally didn't have all the cute little characters on top, they were just a simple plastic container that held the mints.
The old advertisements were targeted at adults. They made the dispensers look like old cigarette lighters to really try and show off that they can help you quit. They also put cigarettes with a little "X" over them on the candy packages.
It wasn't until the 1950's that Pez candy switched its outlook to focus on kids. They started making a bunch of other styles of dispensers, including little guns that would shoot the candy, robots, and little Santas.
The first dispensers that looked similar to the ones we would recognize now came out in the late 1950s. They started with characters like Popeye the Sailor Man and Mickey Mouse.
Over time they created Pez dispensers of all our favorite characters from TV and movies. Then, in 1987 they decided to add feet to the bottom of the dispensers so they could stand up easier.
By the 90s, Pez candy dispensers had become collectibles. They were still coming out with new ones each year, but people were now interested in owning older Pez dispensers for their collections.