If you were a kid, you can recall owning at least one Pez dispenser during your childhood. The gift usually came during a holiday, or your mom was feeling very generous at the grocery store checkout lane.
Eduard Haas III invented the Pez candy while living in Vienna, Austria. His original idea for Pez had nothing to do with making kids smile, but for adults to stop smoking. Haas took three of the letters from the German word for peppermint, pfefferminz, and the name PEZ was born.
In 1952, the United States was introduced to Pez candy. In 1973, the company built a manufacturing facility in Orange, Connecticut. It wasn’t until December of 2011 when the factory built a visitor center. The center also includes a viewing area of the production facility, and tours are provided if scheduled before your visit.
Pez candy has come a long way from a simple dispenser. The Visitor Center’s greeting area wall, with 792 dispensers, reminds you of the changes to Pez. The showcases include the first character dispensers, original advertisements, uniforms, and the many commemorative packages- such as remembering Star Trek, U.S. Presidents, and the Olympics.
A trip to the Pez Visitor Center is a must for all ages. It will provide a history lesson to the youth, and a flashback of childhood past times to the young at heart. Most importantly, it will remind us that even with all of modern technology, a simple Pez dispenser can still make a child smile.