Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Curtiss Candy Co.
Curtiss Candy Co.

Curtiss Candy Co.

Founded in Chicago in 1916 by Otto Schnering, Curtiss Candy did just under $100,000 in sales during its first year. The company grew quickly, and in 1919 it opened a new three-story factory on Briar Place that employed 400 men and women. Annual sales passed $1 million by 1921, when the company was turning out huge quantities of its “Baby Ruth” candy bars; among its other popular bars made were “Butterfinger” and “Polar Bar.” In the mid-1930s, Curtiss employed over 300 men and nearly 1,900 women around the city. By the beginning of the 1960s, with $60 million in annual sales, the company ranked among the top 10 firms in the U.S. candy industry. Control of the company left the Chicago area in 1964, when Curtiss was purchased by Standard Brands, a large national food conglomerate. By the end of the century, the most popular of the old Curtiss brands were owned by Nestle, the Swiss food giant.