The Father of the Jellybean’s 1912 Black Peep Scandal: A Bittersweet Gem from the Archives

A Dark Terror over Easter Candyland from the way-back-days.

An Ominous Scandal shadowed Easter Candyland in the way-back-days – and it wasn’t Dark Chocolate.

They are ubiquitous at this time of year, produced at a rate of over five and half million a day, a billion and a half being consumed, selling at a rate of 57 times more than an iPhone.

The ubiquitously Easter fellows.

The ubiquitously Easter fellows.

Yes, the sugary, puffy, sweet little Peep is an almighty force of Eastertime.

And they are expanding and growing into all imaginable forms, making the United States a genuine Peep Nation.

It's in the milk now.

It’s in the milk now.

They come in flavors including lemon, raspberry, strawberry, watermelon and birthday cake. There is a Peep lip balm and how even cartons of fresh Peep-flavored milk.

Old-school Peeps.

Old-school Peeps.

Peeps as we know them today have been crafted and streamlined by machine production under visionary candy manufacturer Sam Born since 1955.

He didn’t invent the sweet little birds, however, purchasing the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania factory  two years before that from a man who had his “Marshmallow Chicks,” handcrafted them as two-winged creatures.

Roscoe Rodda.

Roscoe Rodda may now be largely forgotten, but to him the world owes a basketful of purple sweetness for he was the visionary who first took the jellybean and made it an Eastertime candy.

A shadow over candyland.

A shadow over candyland.

Yet deep happy, bright Candyland’s sweet-scented primordial forest, hidden in the hallow of ancient almond-chocolate-barked trees and spun-sugar burrows, lurks a whispered tale of the Progenitor of Peeps, a dark, dastardly scandal of primal sucrose which rocked the world of sweets in 1912.

It was a marshmallow treat of unknown form known as “Easter Joy,” preceding the Titanic disaster by just weeks.


Here it is, in its full glory, a forbidden favorite unlocked at this time of year, from the Carl Anthony Online archives vault, “The Black Peep Scandal: An Easter Candy Mystery…”

It was a sad time, a time that, even today, can make a Peep weep.

A forbidden scandal to make a Peep weep.

A forbidden scandal to make a Peep weep.

Categories: Americana, Easter

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