Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tummy and Eye Candy, All Rolled into One!

Thanks to my friend Lisa P.  I learned that there are two new Whitman candy sampler tins!  I have a small collection of sampler tins (Whitman Candy and others), so I knew that I wanted to add the newest ones to my collection.

Lisa picked up hers on a recent trip when she stopped at a Russell Stover candy outlet store.  Knowing that I wouldn't be traveling by one any time soon, I decided to look on-line.  I ordered mine on Monday, and much to my delight they arrived today.

As you can see in the photo, the tins have slightly different graphics.  Included in each tin is the little booklet shown in the lower left hand corner of my photo.  The little booklet is also on-line here.

The new tins were created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Whitman Sampler.

When I placed my order, I discovered that the tins were being offered at a 20% discount.  Then after putting the two tins in my on-line shopping cart, I discovered that shipping would be free if you spent $25.  My tins added up to $23.18 and shipping was an additional $7.95 (for a total of  $31.13).  It was actually cheaper for me to buy another of the smaller tins and get three tins (even if I only wanted two) than to buy the two and pay shipping.  Guess that was a no-brainer as what I should do!

After taking the previous photos, I remembered that I have an old Whitman tin.  I don't know the age, but I thought you would enjoy seeing it and comparing the graphics on it with those on the newer tins. On the left, next to the tin, is an old book published in 1971 on the Whitman needlework samplers that are now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Looking at my old tin and the new ones, I was baffled by something I saw.

Do you see it?  Yes, that's right--there are different dates on the two tins.  The newer tin on the left says "started in 1912" and the older tin on the right says "started in 1842".  That's a difference of 70 years.  It turns out that 1842 is when 19-year old Stephen Whitman started his candy business in Philadelphia.  It was in 1912 that the Whitman Sampler candy assortment came into being.

Walter Sharp, who became the company's president in 1911, had the idea of making candy sampler boxes rather than having all of the same kind of candy in each box.  His box design was supposedly inspired by a sampler he saw hanging in a relative's home.  Mr. Sharp had envisioned selling the sampler boxes for only one year.  Wouldn't he be surprised to learn that 100 years later the sampler boxes are still selling well?

Years ago I read that employees of the Whitman Company were asked to find needlework samplers, and thus was born the famous Whitman Sampler Collection.  (Unfortunately, I can't seem to find that source today.) According to the Whitman/Russell Stover website, 575 samplers were amassed by the candy company.  They were given to the Philadelphia Museum of Art around 1969.  What a generous gift!  Some of the samplers are currently on display at the museum.  I hope to get there to see them in person.


Margaret said...

Wow! This is all so interesting! I had no idea there was an actual collection of samplers! And silly me never connected samplers with a sampler of chocolates. lol! So neat! Thanks for the history behind all of this. Nice tin collection you have too!

Vickie said...

575 samplers!! Could you imagine?!

Julie M said...

Interesting post, I enjoyed learning about the history. Thanks!

The Inspired Stitcher said...

I'm so glad my post led you to getting your own tins. I'm impressed they came that quickly too! I got the thinner one you show in the last picture. It's fun to see it next to your older one. I've also had that book on my wishlist forever. You'll have to bring it to guild sometime so I can see it in person.

stitchkat said...

Thanks for the info Ellen! I just ordered mine. I do love these tins.

Kay said...

Love the historical info - how interesting!

Laurie in Iowa said...

Thanks for sharing the historical info with us Ellen. I'm glad you got your tins... I may have to go check out their website now.

Kathy said...

The PMA currently has ten Scottish samplers from the Whitman Collection on view to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Whitman Sampler. It's at the Perleman Building, across the street from the museum.
They have sold some of the samplers from the collection. It came to them with the provision that they could sell whatever samplers thye felt were already well represented in the collection, as long as the money realized from the sale was used to purchase other samplers.
When the Whitman sampler collection was owned by Whitman's it hung in the many stores they had in the area. They also had discovery days where one could bring in samplers. They were documented as being part of the "Whitman Sampler Discovery". That was one way they located samplers to purchase for the stores. When they came across ones they wanted to purcahse, they would make the owner an offer.

DebbieSFL said...

Ellen, Walgreens is selling the larger tin for $14.99 here in Tallahassee. I purchased one for me and one to be included in my sister's Christmas gift!! I have also found them before at Walmart during Christmas.