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Archive for April, 2014|Monthly archive page

Bite Size: Mallowed With Time

In Adams Bruce Ltd, Aulsebrook's, Aulsebrook's confectionery, Cadbury Confectionery Ltd, Cadbury Fry Hudson, Cadbury Schweppes Hudson Ltd, Cadbury's, Chocolate, Chocolate Fish, Chocolate marshmallow eggs, Chocolate Snowballs, confectionery, Easter, Innovex Holdings, Marshmallow, Nestlé, Queen Anne chocolate, Rainbow confectionery, Regina Confections. on April 23, 2014 at 10.46

Easter Egg  LWK copy copy I haven’t really been very good so far at sticking to posts about significant annual events and holidays of note, and as such, I last previously posted on Easter in 2011 here. Then …nothing. Also, I just don’t have very much good Easter shit in my collection – which is amazing, since it’s one of the biggest things of the year at retail. Easter-related stuff just doesn’t crop up that much. I guess the majority was foil wrapping and hard to salvage.

aCadbury chocolate marshmallow Easter eggs 2012 bitten

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With all good intention I took these snaps this time two years ago in order to post but I didn’t get around to it. Some friends had their family bring over various sweet treats on a visit to Australia – and since it was March, some naturally happened to be Eastery things – such as these Cadbury marshmallow eggs which were in store at the time.

a Cadbury chocolate marshmallow Easter eggs 2012 bitten  100_3959 edit copy

A wrapper and tray from New Zealand Cadbury chocolate marshmallow eggs, in 2012.

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I was dying to try them to see if they tasted in any way similar; and to my delight everything about them was amazingly – exactly the same. Under my “supervision” half the pack quickly disappeared down my gullet before they were snatched away for safekeeping.

a nestle vintage easter egg 1936 0r 1938 lightened

A seventy-something years old Nestle chocolate Easter egg that I previously wrote on in April 2011.

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This didn’t start out as a treatise on the history of such a specific item; which is just as well since apparently there is little to know. Marshmallow products had been around fairly early on in Aotearoa – Aulsebrook’s were producing a variety of mallows- plain, toasted, raspberry and chocolate-covered – by the early 1900s, and chocolate covered marshmallow bars and “snowballs” started to popularise in the 1930s. Of course then came that icon Chocolate Fish of which the first mention I’ve seen is in the early 1940s.

a BRITANNIA THEATRE Ponsonby MARSHMALLOW EASTER EGG  - New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXVI, Issue 23316, 8 April 1939, Page 24

A chocolate marshmallow egg giveaway at one of a number of Auckland theatres in the mid-late 1930s: This one at The Britannia,  Zealand Herald, 8 April 1939, Page 24.

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The earliest record I have for actual chocolate marshmallow eggs is by Adams Bruce Ltd. for the Queen Anne brand in the 1950s, which are fondly remembered by many. I am sure that Aulsebrook’s and Cadbury also launched theirs at this time however the earliest I know of is 1960s for the former and 1970s for the latter.

a Cadbury chocolate marshmallow Easter eggs 2012 edit 1 copy

A wrapper and tray from New Zealand Cadbury chocolate marshmallow eggs, in 2012.

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Rainbow was founded in 2001 by the regrouping of Regina workers (banded together as Innovex Holdings) who found themselves out of work and the factory premises empty courtesy of the then owners Nestlé. They “recommenced” the business on site, successfully continuing most of the classic Regina products under the new name – and just recently repurchased the rights to the original classic Regina brand and relaunched it. Point is, that this product means that Regina had a history of making chocolate marshmallow eggs, but how early they started I don’t know.

aaCadbury Fire Chicks Easter Egg 1960s Cadbury Schweppes Hudsion post 1969

A box from a chocolate Easter egg, dating from the very early 1970s.

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However – someone in Auckland (Heard’s, Brown Bros and Geddes, or maybe Nestlé) was making them earlier though – for in the 1930s several cinemas in that city offered them as a free gift to children attending their special Easter matinees. They get no mention elsewhere, or ever again until at least 1946.

a Rainbow Marshmallow Easter Eggs (1) EDIT copy

Wrapper from a carton of chocolate marshmallow eggs made by Rainbow, formerly Regina Confections. This means that Regina had a history of making chocolate marshmallow eggs, but how early they started is uncertain. 

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They have traditionally always been two halves of white marshmallow with an orange circle in the centre representing the yolk; both pieces then fully enrobed in milk chocolate and then sandwiched together, and either wrapped in decorative foil or in later years nestled with several others in a plastic tray or carton and sealed in a closed plastic sleeve wrapper.

aa Rainbow Marshmallow Easter Eggs (4) copy copy copy

A tray of chocolate marshmallow eggs made by Rainbow.

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They are on occasion available in Sydney – I remember one year that Woolworths had a display of them and they disappeared pretty quickly indeed. They’ve also imported Rainbow ones from time to time – I also got the ones pictured in Woolworth’s.

a Easter Egg mould 8 cm across edit copy

A vintage metal mould for making chocolate Easter eggs, sixteen centimetres in circumference.

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After sampling some Australian Cadbury ones recently at a family gathering in Sydney – which in appearance look exactly the same – they don’t quite taste the same. I don’t know if there’s a difference between the Oz-produced version and the Nizild ones – but my eyebrows just didn’t raise in the way they did when I bit into the Kiwi made versions again for the first time in nearly thirty years and that rush of memories from my childhood came flooding back.

aaVintage Cadburys Griffins Easter egg wrappers two copy

Griffin’s and Cadbury foil wrappers from Easter eggs of the late 1970s.

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a a a All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2014. All rights reserved.

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Happy Returns

In Birthday, Cadbury Schweppes Hudson Ltd, Cake decorations, Cakes, Caxton Printing Works Ltd, Celebration, Children's parties, Cookie Bear, Elsa Ruth Nast, Krinkle crepe paper, McKenzies stores, N.Z. Co-Op Rennet Co Ltd, Party, Party favours, Peter McIntyre Jr., Peter McIntyre Sr., Renco Birthday junket, Renco junket, Woolworth's stores, Woolworths on April 6, 2014 at 10.46

1 Krinkle Crepe Paper Wrapper 1 - Caxton Printing - 1970s - front copy

Who knows how long this Krinkle packaging design was around? Not as long as it looks I think; I guess it was issued in the early 1960s. It remained in use until well into the 1970s when they finally realised that nobody was dressing like Pollyanna any more. Note the price sticker from Woolworths stores proving it’s post 1967 for sure, but would have been purchased some time after 1972.

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2 Krinkle Crepe Paper Wrapper 2 - Caxton Printing - 1970s - front edit copy

The “updated” version of the packaging design, probably mid-late 1970s, didn’t look much more modern. Note the price sticker from McKenzie’s department stores. The chain was sold to L D Nathan & Co, Ltd, who subsumed it into the Woolworths brand, around 1979 so it dates from that year or earlier.

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This recent acquisition of Krinkle crepe paper wrappers is something I’ve been aiming to get hold of for ages. I’ve always liked them because the graphics were so old-fashioned; and even when they updated the classic version sometime in the 1970s – the replacement still looked twenty years out of date! However it brings back real childhood memories for me in the way that Jay Tee patty pans and associated ephemera do; you knew when the Krinkle came out of the cupboard that something good was in the offing – whether that was a school fete, Halloween, Christmas celebrations or most of all – a birthday party. 2b Boy blowing out candles on birthday cake 1964 Swainson-Woods Collection edit copy

A boy blowing out candles on a birthday cake, by Bernard Woods Studio, October 1964. Swainson-Woods Collection, image courtesy of Puke Ariki and District Libraries collection.

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2c Happy Birthday by Elsa Ruth Nast 0 Little Golden Books 1973 (5)

A plate from “Happy Birthday” by Elsa Ruth Nast, Little Golden Books, published 1973.

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I closely associate Krinkle with one of my favourite books as a toddler – “Happy Birthday” by Elsa Ruth Nast – published as part of the Little Golden Books series in 1973 (yet, again, looking twenty years out of date at the time. This antipodean “backdraught” issue has been an ongoing theme of my postings). 3a Happy Birthday by Elsa Ruth Nast 0 Little Golden Books 1973 edit copy

The original cover design from “Happy Birthday” by Elsa Ruth Nast, Little Golden Books, published 1973.

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3b1 Essential birthday cuisine Auckland War Memorial Museum edit copy

Essential Kiwi children’s birthday “cuisine”, from a display at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Image courtesy of and © Robyn Gallagher on Flickr

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I was obsessed with the invitations, the candy baskets, and the pieces of coloured pink and green paper ruled so you could cut it up and follow the instructions to make the decorations straight out of the book. I don’t know if I actually ever cut my copy up, though. I think I loved it too much to do that! 3b Happy Birthday by Elsa Ruth Nast Little Golden Books 1973 edit (26)

A plate from “Happy Birthday” by Elsa Ruth Nast, Little Golden Books, published 1973.

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3c Woman's Weekly Feb 12 1962 - BIRTHDAY RENCO edit copy

Birthday Renco advert from the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, February 1962.

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Krinkle was made by Caxton, a major printing company founded by Peter McIntyre Sr. – an extraordinary commercial artist who did some spectacularly beautiful and elaborate images for a number of clients himself such as Tiger Tea. His son, Peter McIntyre , Jr. was also exceptionally talented; being the internationally renowned war and landscape artist who produced a number of best-selling coffee table books many would be familiar with. 3c1 Happy Birthday by Elsa Ruth Nast 0 Little Golden Books 1973 crop

Loose endpaper illustration from “Happy Birthday” by Elsa Ruth Nast, Little Golden Books, published 1973.

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  4 Cookie Bear Birthday Card 1975 - Cadbury Schweppes Hudson - Owain Morris edit

 Cookie Bear birthday card, for Hudson’s biscuits, issued for 1975 by Cadbury Schweppes Hudson. Image courtesy of Owain Morris collection.

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So yes, Krinkle makes this post a good excuse for a general birthday theme. Paper hats, crackers, streamers, blowouts and balloons abounded. Brands of cake candles were Kiddies, Dawn and Elfin (there were others that were popular – I can’t remember the names). Crepe paper brands were Fashion by Harley, Dennison, Pierrot, and Sylkette. There were a few more over the years. I actually had quite a large collection of cake toppers and decorations at one point, as well as party decorations, toys and favours- a lot of them still looked really old-fashioned at that time and I’d go to cake shops and buy them just to put on the shelf. 6a Happy Birthday by Elsa Ruth Nast - Little Golden Books 1973 candy baskets 1 further edit copy

Above and below: Party candy cups  from “Happy Birthday” by Elsa Ruth Nast, Little Golden Books, published 1973.

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  6b Happy Birthday by Elsa Ruth Nast - Little Golden Books 1973 candy baskets 3 copy

Apart from all kinds of favours and games, the food was the main feature and included classic children’s party fare like little boys with Kiwi gravy (also known as saveloys with tomato sauce), chocolate crackles, sausage rolls, iced cupcakes or cream fairy cakes, asparagus spears rolled into buttered white bread.

6c1 Happy Birthday by Elsa Ruth Nast - Little Golden Books 1973 make candy baskets write invites copy

A plate from “Happy Birthday” by Elsa Ruth Nast, Little Golden Books, published 1973, showing how to make invitations and candy cups.

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  6c2 Happy Birthday by Elsa Ruth Nast - Little Golden Books 1973 paper chains

A plate from “Happy Birthday” by Elsa Ruth Nast, Little Golden Books, published 1973, showing how to make party decorations.

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Lamingtons, potato chippies with sour cream & chive or seafood flavour dip, fairy bread sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, cubes of cheese and pineapple threaded onto toothpicks and stuck in cabbages decorated with edible faces, all washed down with Leed, Fanta and other drinks from the Coca Cola Co, or perhaps Jucy raspberry, pineapple and creaming soda. 6c3 Happy Birthday by Elsa Ruth Nast - Little Golden Books 1973 invites copy

Invitation designs  from “Happy Birthday” by Elsa Ruth Nast, Little Golden Books, published 1973.

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6c41 Renco birthday edit 1 copy

Birthday Renco boxes, and bottles still labelled and with original contents. They probably date from the late 1950s-early 1960s.

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The quite un-celebratory sounding but brightly packaged Birthday Renco, which I’ve featured some images of here, was a little before my time. It was made by the N.Z. Co-Op Rennet Co Ltd., known more commonly for their junket – and they also made cheese under brands like Pixie. Nevertheless this product was around for four decades in six flavours – orange, lemon, vanilla, raspberry, passionfruit, and greengage. It was launched in the 1930s and around until the 1960s that I know of. 6c41a McKenzies Stores - party decorations - Evening Post10 June 1937 Page 6 edit more copy

 Advert for party novelties range from McKenzies Stores, Evening Post, June 1937. 

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7 darian third birthday 1974 copy

Me with my Jack In The Box cake for my third birthday.

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Personally, birthdays were a bittersweet time for me – I had a couple of duds .On my seventh birthday, I was allowed a rare treat – a “bought lunch” at school. We were usually allowed this once a year (or maybe twice if there was some kind of cataclysmic family event). 8 Darian 5th birthday 1976 under deck 42 Seymour Road Sunnyvale edit (1)

My fifth birthday party with my sister’s panda cake in the foreground. I remember helping to make the streamers and hats out of Krinkle crepe paper and milk bottle caps with my Mum.

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8a betty-crocker-castle-cake The Betty Crocker's Boys and Girls Cookbook

A castle cake from “The Betty Crocker’s Cookbook For Boys and Girls”, published around 1965. This is remarkably similar to the one I got for my fourth birthday.

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I dropped the boiling hot Big Ben pie on my leg causing a nasty burn that blew up into a huge blister, and spent my birthday party in agony, and too miserable to enjoy the number of Lego sets I received as gifts. While I sulked, all the other guests enjoyed my treasure chest cake. 9 Woman's Weekly Jan 1 1962 - BIRTHDAY RENCO edit copy

Birthday Renco advert from the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, January 1962.

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10 Renco birthday four closeups copy

Birthday Renco boxes, and bottles still labelled and with original contents. They probably date from the late 1950s-early 1960s.

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So as a consequence they haven’t ever really held a special place going forth; more than anything else it was always more about the cake for me. And my mum was a great theme cake maker. You never said “this year, I want…” – she decided what cake she was making for you and that was that. The first one I remember she made me, was a Jack In The Box cake pebbled with lollies; the Jack made completely from icing.

11 Happy Birthday by Elsa Ruth Nast 0 Little Golden Books 1973 (23)

A plate from “Happy Birthday” by Elsa Ruth Nast, Little Golden Books, published 1973.

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12 Woolworths NZ Ltd 1960's-1970's Bon Bons Christmas Cracker Box edit copy

Box for self line party crackers from Woolworths stores, I’m estimating these date from the early 1970s.

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There was a semi-circular rainbow iced in seven different colours, and then the above-mentioned chocolate treasure chest, open and filled with candy. It was downhill from there. 13 Boy's birthday party, 1964 edi lighter copy

A boy’s birthday party, by Bernard Woods Studio, October 1964. Swainson-Woods Collection, image courtesy of Puke Ariki and District Libraries collection.

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14 birthday cake plastic toppers crop

These candle holders were fairly common – you’ll notice them in use on my sister’s panda cake in the image of my fifth birthday party above.

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For my fourth I memorably got a grand castle cake – with green coconut grass, marshmallow brickwork, and the towers topped with iced waffle cones. My sister went missing during the party and was finally found upstairs on a stepladder in the kitchen where she had eaten most of the turrets off it. I was devastated and inconsolable! She essentially upstaged me on my special day (this sibling rivalry on her behalf was to be, like so many have probably experienced, an ongoing theme). So for the next birthday I got a cake and my sister got one as well – a panda which was bigger than mine – so she wouldn’t get jealous and ruin my cake again. So effectively she managed to turn my special day into hers. It was a sign of things to come. These days I prefer to completely ignore my birthday – it’s just easier!
a 15 Krinkle Crepe Paper Wrapper 1 - Caxton Printing - 1970s - both backs copy

The back of both Krinkle crepe paper wrappers: Late 1970s design on the left, early 1960s design on the right. Note the large range of forty different colours with evocative names, which was later much reduced.

1970s birthday party Image courtesy of Stuart Broughton (

 Snapshot of a typical 1970s birthday party. Image  courtesy of Stuart Broughton.

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a a a All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2014. All rights reserved.