Greeting CardsCostumesParty PlanningGift IdeasHolidays

Candy Birthday Corsages: A Vintage Tradition Poised for a Comeback?

Updated on May 18, 2016
Source

Candy Corsages in the 1950s through the 1970s

The vintage candy birthday corsage marked a girl’s passage from one year to another, from age 10 to 18. It was made to resemble a floral corsage, and it might have included flowers, but its most important element was candy. Each year had a different kind of candy that symbolized an aspect of a growing girl’s life. Where the symbolism originated, except for year 16, which has always been known as “sweet 16,” no one seems to know.

Gifting girls with candy corsages that incorporated specific candies for specific years seems to have been a regional tradition. I grew up in northern New Jersey and remember this tradition well. Those of you who grew up in that congested region of the country, northern New Jersey and metropolitan and suburban New York, may know what I’m talking about right away. In researching candy birthday corsages, I have found few references to them outside of this regional pocket, and no information about how the tradition began.

Corsage Candies and Their Meanings

Year
Candy
Meaning
10
Lollipops
Unknown
11
Gumdrops
Unknown
12
Tootsie Rolls
Unknown
13
Bubble Gum
Unknown
14
Dog Biscuits
Puppy Love
15
Lifesavers
Unknown
16
Sugar Cubes
Sweet 16
17
Lemon Drops
Sour 17
18
Cigarettes or Beer Bottle Caps
Coming of Legal Age

Year 14 is an oddity, featuring dog biscuits instead of candy. If any of you ever knew of candy in the shape of a dog biscuit, let us know in the comments below! Year 18 is another oddity: The cigarettes were meant to be candy cigarettes, not real ones, but I knew girls whose corsages featured the real thing. Also, in some places where the drinking age was 18 instead of 21, beer bottle caps might have replaced the cigarettes.

A close-up, inside view of the candy corsage showing the tape and tube forms of bubble gum, tiny white silk flowers, satin ribbon, and a recycled metallic "fountain" bow.
A close-up, inside view of the candy corsage showing the tape and tube forms of bubble gum, tiny white silk flowers, satin ribbon, and a recycled metallic "fountain" bow. | Source
The long lace pieces of ribbon were tied into a bow, securing the corsage on the wrist. White tissue paper protected the corsage inside the white and gold-ribboned box.
The long lace pieces of ribbon were tied into a bow, securing the corsage on the wrist. White tissue paper protected the corsage inside the white and gold-ribboned box. | Source

Attempts to Bring Back the Candy Birthday Corsage – A Bit of Personal History

When my daughter turned 16, long after the tradition I’d known had passed, I visited a local florist and asked if he could make a sugar-cube corsage to honor her birthday. He had no idea what I was talking about. However, he did make a lovely pin-on corsage, incorporating 16 cubes of sugar and autumn flowers for her October birthday. That corsage weighed a ton! When I presented it to my daughter and told her what the tradition meant to me, she was quite unimpressed. But, she wore it through her birthday party, even though it made her shirt sag quite horribly. In other words, this kind of a corsage was not part of her or her friends’ experiences, and so, even though I was pleased to share this tradition with her, it really didn’t mean very much to her, then.

Just a few days ago, my daughter was invited to a coming-of-age celebration for one of her girl students who had just turned 13. The invitation said nothing about a gift (the student had already just celebrated her birthday, but my daughter wanted to bring something. I suggested a bubble-gum corsage.

Much to my surprise, my daughter jumped on the idea. She raided our box of craft supplies, went to the store to buy bubble gum, and crafted a beautiful bubble gum wrist corsage for her student along with a gorgeous box to hold it.

The student’s reaction? Well, it was much like my daughter's reaction when she turned 16. The student had no concept of this tradition. After my daughter told her about the history and meaning of this gift, she politely wore the corsage for a photograph, but that was the limit of her interest. She just didn’t know what it was, and nor did the other women present at this coming-of-age gathering.

My daughter was not at all let down by her student's reaction, I suspect because she remembered her own reaction all those years ago while also taking stock of the good memories she has today about her sixteenth birthday corsage. Those good memories were what prompted her to carry on this tradition with her student. I have no doubt that some time in the future the student will think about this sharing moment with her teacher and want to pass the tradition on through sharing with another special young woman.

Annemaeve bought fresh bubble gum, but everything else for the corsage came from a box of scrap wrapping paper and ribbons. She assembled the corsage with hot glue and a needle and thread. The blue and pink "ribbons" are bubble gum.
Annemaeve bought fresh bubble gum, but everything else for the corsage came from a box of scrap wrapping paper and ribbons. She assembled the corsage with hot glue and a needle and thread. The blue and pink "ribbons" are bubble gum. | Source

A Vintage Tradition Due for a Comeback?

Here are the reasons I think the vintage candy birthday corsage tradition ought to enjoy a comeback.

Candy birthday corsages marking each birthday in a symbolic way were gifts that women friends and family members truly looked forward to making or buying and giving. It fostered a special bond among women young and old. I have never heard of anyone receiving one of these corsages from a member of the opposite sex. I don’t think there can be too many ways to bond with the young women in our lives, and the sentiment expressed in this gift deserves to be one of them.

Making candy corsages is a great birthday party activity. With a bit of planning (and supervision for younger girls), guests at an all-girl birthday party can have a lot of fun making their own souvenir corsages to take home.

What about that box of gift wrapping scraps, and also your stash of sewing notions, fabrics, and trims? These are items just waiting to be turned into a thoughtful and symbolic gift at little to no cost. In these “green-conscious” and challenging economic times, a candy corsage fashioned from recycled goods makes a lot of sense.

The real thing. A Tootsie Roll birthday candy corsage in its original box, found in Queens, NY.
The real thing. A Tootsie Roll birthday candy corsage in its original box, found in Queens, NY. | Source

How To Make a Candy Corsage

More on How To Make a Candy Corsage, Plus Resources for Buying Candy Birthday Corsages

There are many resources on the Internet for learning how to make candy corsages and bouquets. Take a look at some of these and see if you get inspired.

  • Ehow has a number of articles on making candy corsages. Start here with this set of candy corsage directions and then check out the "You May Like" suggestions on the right hand side of the page.
  • If you'd like to try your hand at a bouquet instead of a corsage, try these directions for making a candy bouquet.
  • You can order custom-made candy birthday corsages at etsy.com.
  • Candy Corsages has a beautiful assortment of corsages and will also work with you to custom-design the corsage you want.

About Those Dog Biscuits for the 14th Birthday Candy Corsage

I haven't been able to find any pre-made, commercially available candies in the shape of dog biscuits, but if you like to make candy and chocolate, I did find a variety of molds, some large and some small, in the shape of dog bones as well as in paw-print and puppy shapes. I can imagine wiring the small candy bones (or other shapes) to a 14-year candy corsage with brown pipe cleaners, or even embedding a length of floral wire into the liquid chocolate. The larger shapes would be perfect for an accompanying candy bouquet.

If you believe, as I do, that this tradition is deserving of a comeback, keep the nine symbolic birthday candies in mind when you make or order your next candy birthday corsage for a special young woman.

A Request

I've researched this topic through friends, my local library, and resources on the Internet but have found little about the history and symbolism of this tradition. Please share your knowledge of this vintage tradition in the comments section below. Thank you!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      teena Garley 2 months ago

      wow yes I do remember those days and the corsages our region of the states was Albany Ny we glued the bubble gum, etc to the ribbions that hung from the original bow that way it was easy to pin to a shirt or coat what a great memory two of my granddaughters are turning 13 next year...you know what grammie is sending them...also to include the meaning

    • profile image

      Heather Wilson 4 months ago

      I made a sugar cube corsage with narrow pink satin ribbons and the 16 cubes for my daughter's birthday. It has been a tradition for several generations, my mother still had hers from when she celebrated her 16th in 1938. Hers was made by her Danish or German Godmother, they lived in Chicago. I thought that was where this tradition had started.

    • profile image

      Dee 4 months ago

      BTW I think the idea for bubble gum on 13th birthday was to signify you were officially a teenager, that is to say a bubblegum chewing, teenybopper.

      Since today's connotation for dogs as pertaining to females is Not reminiscent of "puppy love", I would no longer use dog biscuits for a corsage. I much prefer the idea expressed in someone else's comment of using Hershey kisses symbolizing one's first kiss.

    • profile image

      Dee 4 months ago

      I grew up in the Westchester suburbs of New York City. I went to an all-girls Catholic high school. Our classmates would each chip in about 25¢ to buy a birthday corsage for us on our birthday (or half birthday when it fell in the summer). This helped minimize the popularity effect of multiple corsages & also ensured that every girl got one. We would usually purchase the corsages from a local florist and then all of our classmates would sign the box.

      I recently remembered this tradition when I was talking to my son about his daughters' birthdays. One of his girls was turning 10 years old, so they started calling her the Double-digit Midget. This reminded me of the corsage made with Tootsie Roll Midgets. I, like so many others who commented, would like to see this sweet tradition revived.

    • profile image

      Carmen M. Cruz 6 months ago

      I would like to see corsages back for girls birthdays. It was so special to wear it for your birthday.

    • profile image

      Carol Horton 6 months ago

      I was talking about this today before looking it up.

      I grew up in the 50's & 60's and remember doing these in Jr. and Sr. High school. It was awkward for the girls who didn't have a lot of friends, because the more popular girls got them from all their friends.

    • profile image

      joan 7 months ago

      I grew up in Brooklyn in the late 50s early 60s and remember the corsages. I have 2 granddaughters turning 16 this year, and i plan on making them sweet 16 corsages with sugarcubes for them, and share my memories with them

    • profile image

      Mary 8 months ago

      I remember my birthdays and the beautiful candy corsages my Mom used to make me. I even wore them to school. Lived in N.J. at the time. I was born in 47, so 13 would have been early 60's. I will make one this year for my grand daughter's BIG 13. It is a tradition.

    • profile image

      Joanne Clayton 8 months ago

      Well, I grew up in Queens, New York and have fond memories of those corsages! On your birthday, you were gifted with these corsages, in the appropriate candy, and you wore it at school all day!!!! If you had a summer Birthday, you celebrated in your half birthday and on Monday if your birthday was on the weekend. I think we only did up to Sweet 16, and different stores sometimes had different styles, so you rarely had a duplicate. We so enjoyed the attention on our special day, with the other kids admiring your corsages, rather than kids today preferring to blend in and be anonymous. So sad that today's youth can't celebrate their uniqueness.

    • profile image

      Rafini 8 months ago

      What a lovely idea and tradition! I only wish I had known of it when my daughter was still a teenager. Think I'll definitely be on the lookout for opportunities to share this tradition, so it doesn't die.

    • profile image

      cheryl vandever 12 months ago

      Dog Biscuits symbolized Puppy Love

    • profile image

      Donna love 12 months ago

      Being born in 1949, I remember very well corsages. For some reason I remember a "prune" corsage!!!

      With that said, my mom always made sure I had a corsage to wear to school on my birthdays.

      A very fond memory!

    • profile image

      Babynurse77 14 months ago

      I remember the same ones as posey345. I made them for my daughters all through school. When they reached 18 they didn't want it to stop so I made while they were in college. They 21 year I used money.

    • profile image

      Joan 14 months ago

      I am doing trivia questions for our 50th Class Reunion and wanted to add one about our corsages- I still have my Sweet 16 corsage. I do remember the dog biscuits being real! Vintage is good.

    • profile image

      TheOldCrow 15 months ago

      For some strange reason the tradition of birthday corsages popped into my head this morning, and I was curious to see if I could find any info on the practice. I grew up in Woodlawn in the Bronx, New York, and I remember receiving them each year on my birthday right up to year 15. Once we were in high school the tradition seemed to stop. Perhaps because many of us went to different high schools. I also remember spending time making them for friends. The two I remember most were the Lifesavers and dog biscuits (real dog biscuits). Some years I would get two of three corsages, and the funny part was that my birthday was on Columbus Day, and school was closed for the holiday. I guess I wore them the day before or after my birthday. It is nice to know that so many people remember this tradition from so long ago.

    • profile image

      Anne 16 months ago

      I went to a large high school in New York City. Not every one did the corsage thing. It was a group of them. The corsages were enormous and sometimes covered the whole front of the girl. My group was more beatnik and we looked down on this. Mostly we may have been afraid we would not get any. It was definitely a popularity contest. I was greatful that my birthday fell on a school holiday.

    • profile image

      Brendalivelife 17 months ago

      Awww I remember my 11th birthday and I had a yellow tootsie rolls corsage. I have photos

    • profile image

      Pat 20 months ago

      I grew up in Queens, NY. It was a tradition in our school to wear birthday corsages starting in the first grade. They were pinned to our uniforms just above our hearts. It was always a fun day for the birthday girl when she appeared in school with her birthday corsage. The number of candies on the corsage corresponded with how old you were.

    • profile image

      Giving a nod to this tradition, I made a friend a corsage with 50 fifty cent pieces for her birthday. You can imagine how heavy it was but it was the hit of the party for us Queens girls. 22 months ago

      Giving a nod to this tradition, eighteen years ago, I made a friend a corsage for her fiftieth birthday with 50 fifty cent pieces. You can imagine how heavy it was but it was the hit of the party for these Queens girls.

    • profile image

      Jennifer 22 months ago

      My niece turns 13 today, and she is receiving a candy corsage. Her Nana began making them when my niece turned 5. Comeback i dont think so! But sweet idea.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Sally, what a great hub. I've heard about them, though it's before my time. Thanks for sharing this nostalgic gem.

    • profile image

      Dorothy 24 months ago

      Age 62. Brooklyn born and raised Italian American. We always had a corsage and each girl at the party got a single bow/ ribbon with one of the same candy used in the birthday girl's corsage. There was lace..bumble bees, butterflies..tiny kewpie dolls. Candy was bazooka gum, lifesavers gum drops, chocolate babies, tootsie rolls, REAL dog biscuits...I do not remember lollipops... Candy coated almonds... Great memory!

    • profile image

      Kathy G 2 years ago

      I am almost 70. The other I was thinking about life and things from long ago and somehow the birthday corsage popped into my memories. In high school (Richmond Hill, NY) girls would make the corsages for their friends.

      You would often get a few from different friends, all created special, and then you would wear them in school. It was a good feeling to have these corsages from your friends. Now I have a granddaughter who will be turning 14 soon and I am going to surprise her with a dog biscuit corsage. By the way, we did not make candy dog biscuits, we used real dog biscuits. I think she will enjoy the story and maybe she will go on to make corsages for her friends. In any event it will be a way to share memories with my sweet granddaughter. We used to pin them to our waistbands.

    • profile image

      Shari L 2 years ago

      I'm so glad someone else thought of this idea. My granddaughter is turning 8 years old on Monday 7/27 so i decided to make her a corsage with lifesaver mints. She absolutely loves them. I definitely think the candy corsage should come back everything else is. Great Idea

    • Tamy Massey Lemke profile image

      Tamy Massey Lemke 2 years ago

    • profile image

      Cole 2 years ago

      My grandmother used to give me birthday corsages. They were pinned to my shirt. They really made me feel like my birthday really was my special day!

    • rmmercer profile image

      Robin Mercer 2 years ago from Arizona

      What a fun tradition.Thans for sharing.

    • profile image

      Christine Sanchez 2 years ago

      I remember these growing up in NY. Loved them and looked forward to wearing mine each birthday. It was fun and a great memory of a simpler life.

    • profile image

      caf 3 years ago

      I grew up in Brooklyn NY and they were very popular. Younger had hanging ribbons, older had pipe cleaners to hold the gum, candy, pennies, etc. I loved those. Thanks for recalling. They should make a comeback. But kids today are "too cool" for something that innocent.

    • profile image

      newyorkrich 3 years ago

      I remember these birthday corsages. They were started by a florist chain in NYC back in the fifties. The dog biscuits symbolized puppy love. Candy cigarettes were used, not beer bottle caps. Most bars admitted teens when they were about 16 back then. Moms made these for their daughters. The birthday girl's friends also made them for the birthday girl. Depending on how popular she was, would denote how many she wore. I've seen girls with their blouses filled with ten or more. My memories are from the Bronx.

    • profile image

      Zoe AnnaBella 3 years ago

      Growing up in Brooklyn I was the neighborhood candy courage maker! Each girl in our crowd would tell me what kind of candy she would like as her birthday came near. With little money available this made a great gift and it was worn proudly. We rarely followed the 'assigned' candy - with the exception of sweet sixteen sugar cubes. And never heard if using dog bones for puppy love but did use Hershey's kisses often for 15. I guess you can say it was for your 'first kiss'. No hot glue available back then so ingenuity, a talent for making a full bow out if a long ribbon and some thin colorful electrical wires did the trick. It would be nice to bring back the tradition - so sweet - so much so that I might introduce the idea as a birthday gift to those 'young ladies' now reliving memories in assisted-living/nursing homes.

    • profile image

      Marianne 3 years ago

      In my day thr corsage for 18 was 18 one dollar bills rolled up and attached with ribbons.

    • profile image

      deboraholson 3 years ago

      I had all corsages as kid.I start making some 4 family&friends back in early 90s.Everyone loved.Thx 4 chart.I live in AZ now.Wonder how they'll go over in my small Rt66 town.

    • profile image

      miriam lorenza 3 years ago

      I remember these. I grew up in Bergen County, N.J.

    • profile image

      Janice 3 years ago

      I have lived in MA since I was 22, but I'm from Hicksville, LI, NY. I happened to have mentioned the candy birthday corsages to my husband tonight( not sure what made me think of them?) He has lived in MA his whole life and had never heard of them.

      I remember wearing them in the later elementary grades4th 5th 6th. All of your girlfriends would give you a candy corsage. I don't remember us sticking to any special candy for any given year, but if you were popular you could be wearing 10 or more corsages all over your 1950s ,1960's dress. I remember feeling badly for an unpopular girl who only had one corsage on that her Mom had made her:(

      I don't remember the tradition going into Jr. high, I think we became way "too cool" by then.

      It sounds like the candy corsage was only in northern NJ , New York City and Long Island.

      Anyone from any other area that had this tradition?

    • profile image

      ladywiththefan 3 years ago

      Oh my gosh!! Finally someone other than my Mom and I know about these corsages! I grow up on Long Island and would receive one for my Birthday every year from my parents. I proudly wore it to school attracting tons of attention. Interesting, my girlfriends at the time never wore one. Mom used to buy them at our local stationary/candy store. I would love to see that tradition come back. Thanks

    • profile image

      Arlene 3 years ago

      Many many fond memories of these coursages. Our father used to get then for our birthday ever year. I couldn't was to be 16 but by then they were no longer around.

    • profile image

      Alicia 3 years ago

      I remember that tradition. Growing up in Queens, NY my Mom would also order a corsage from our local florist for my two sisters and me on our birthdays and we would look forward to wearing it to school on our very special day. If I remember correctly the corsages were made out of tulle and ribbons with the candies held in place by colored chenille stems. Our florist would place the corsage in a tissue lined box and tie a beautiful ribbon around it!

    • profile image

      NJMom 3 years ago

      I was just telling my girls about this last night and so I googled it and found your site. I grew up on Long Island and had candy corsages every year. Yes, the dog biscuits were real. . .I remember that one and the life savers one and bubble gum one too. How did you find out what was on each corsage for each year? Boy, now do I sure wish I had saved one! Great memories and something that I would love to see make a comeback--though I can't see that happening! Thanks for the memories--they're as sweet as candy!

    • profile image

      Gina 3 years ago

      Growing up my mom bought me one of these corsages every year until I was 16. The dog biscuits were real dog biscuits. It rained on my Bday ...Let me tell you there is noting worse smelling than wet dog biscuits!! I loved these when I was a kid. Some of my friends had them too but some did not. I would love to see these old traditions come back but I think they'd have to start at a younger age.

    • Deborah-Lynn profile image

      Deborah-Lynn 3 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      A great way to bring back this tradition is to have friends of the same age make the candy corsages for each other, elementary aged girls are natural gift givers! Great Hubs!

    • profile image

      Irene 3 years ago

      I had this tradition growing up on Long Island. I would love to bring it back for my granddaughters. I think we should start it earlier so they arent embarrassed at age 10 . We could start with teething biscuits for age 1 lol . Really I think we should start when the enter kindergarten ... let me know what you think..

    • profile image

      Maryann d 4 years ago

      This tradition I starte to give my granddaughters just at 13 and will give it to them at 16 . I gave it to 3 girls already, without much excitement on their part. However my next 13 year old, I asked since she just moved to another state if she wanted one, her answer was you bet,I want everyone to know I am 13. I have been waiting for this. Hahaha, who knew.

      Also I my day in the 50s other girls made them for their friends. And you knew how popular the girls were by how many ribbon corsages they had.

    • profile image

      Billie Garbe 4 years ago

      I was amazed when my daughter-in-law found your site. It will be part of my biography, when written now that I have the information. I was given one for my 12, 13 14 and 15 birthdays by friends. My 16th, was dating so I received a flower one from my Bill.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      posey234, I hear you. This was an innocent tradition, one full of love. What's happened that today's kids might not find joy in this? I think it goes back to the parents. Parents who are not carrying on traditions for their kids. Great food for thought. Thanks so much for your comment.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Denise and Annieb1060, it seems as though age 9 was not accounted for. Time for a new twist to the tradition? Maybe gummy bears?

    • profile image

      Annieb1060 4 years ago

      My Aunt used to make me 1 every year. I would love to make 1 for my niece's upcoming 9th birthday. Anyone know what candy is for 9??

    • profile image

      Denise 4 years ago

      Yes I do remember the corsages. I lived in Brooklyn and it was so exciting to wear it to school and everyone knew it was my birthday, but I seem to think I was younger then ten.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      cashmere, it would be really cool to start this tradition in India! I can't even imagine what kinds of decorations would stand for which years in a girl's young life, but I'm intrigued with the idea. Let us know if you get it going. :)

    • profile image

      posey234@ptd.net 4 years ago

      too bad our girls don't have our silly innocent traditions...in my "innocent" Pa small town community, they have baby showers as young as 12...not poor community either...boy, I sound OLD!

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 4 years ago from India

      What a yummy idea. We don't have any such tradition, but i wish we did :)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      posey234, what great comments! Loved the bit about the blouses sagging. Those corsages were heavy. I have a pic of my daughter wearing her sugar cube corsage on her 16th...she was wearing a heavy flannel shirt, and it sagged anyway. LOL. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and memories.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Rosanne Wilson, I'm glad this article brought back memories. If candy corsages are poised for a comeback, then your coming up with something for 18 other than cigs and beer caps could be just the ticket for a resurrection of the tradition. Happy b'day to your daughter, and let us know what the "new 18" will look like. :)

    • profile image

      posey234 4 years ago

      I just read the chain...my town on LI was "transplants" from Brooklyn and Queens NY. We too used streaming ribbons to scotch tape the items on. Each had large bow to anchor. No glue guns in the "olden days"...getting old but young at heart...

    • profile image

      posey234 4 years ago

      My mind was drifting...3 boy June birthdays in 2 days...one will be 15...thought of the teasing I did when I gave my older nephew a girl's sweet 16 card...mind drifted to the corsages I'd made and received in the 60's on L.I., N.Y. I could only remember dog biscuits, sugar cubes, life savers and bubble gum but unsure which item was for ages besides 14 & 16. We would make for our girl friends on their birthdays and we'd have the fronts of our blouses sagging from as many as we received. The boyswere all your pals asking for candy or gum. A few smart aleck 14 year old boys munched the dog biscuits. Thanks for your info...I now have "senior moments" and this helped.

    • profile image

      Rosanne Wilson 4 years ago

      I had the candy corsages from 10 yrs old to 16. They were a conversation piece when I wore them to school on my Birthday. I remember going to the store that sold them which was a narrow party store. I forgot about them, but wished I remembered to make one for my daughter's Sweet 16. I would Love to make one for her 18th which is coming up but I'm not thrilled with the cigarette or beer cap theme. I'm going to try come up with another idea if I can. Brought back memories!.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Autumn, thanks so much for the wonderful comment. I had to smile at the mention of Woolworth's, one of my all-time favorite stores. I miss it!

    • profile image

      Autumn 4 years ago

      Here in northern NJ this was a tradition too. In the late 50s my best girlfriend bought one for me for my 14th birthday. Wish I had a picture taken. Real dog biscuits and 14 of them along with a main center large bow. I don't remember where she bought it but I know it wasn't a bakery. Possibly Woolworths or a Sweet Shop that was near by.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      What wonderful memories and also ways to give this tradition a new life.

      @ Catherine, I'll be sure to visit your site, and I also wish your teen a happy 16th!

      @Kathryn, how awesome that the tradition still lives!

      @Lynn, thank you so much for sharing your memories. The bakery had the right idea...Woolworth's was the magnet for young girls then, and the bakery across the street was brilliant for displaying these corsages. Those were the days. :)

    • profile image

      Lynn 4 years ago

      I also grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and candy birthday corsages were a big thing, in my day. I remember when my cousin got her Sweet Sixteen corsage, I was so jealous. I even remember that they sold them at an ice cream bakery store on Broadway across the street from Woolworth. They hung by the entrance of the store and each time I passed by I would see them hanging there with, tootsie rolls, life savers, and dog biscuits. Those memories are such a happy part of my childhood.

    • profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago

      I remember these and I am actually making one right now for my 11 year old daughter 14 was dog biscuits for puppy love!!!

    • Catherine Lorenze profile image

      Catherine Lorenze 4 years ago

      I found this to be a fascinating article and will link to it soon on my company FACEBOOK and TWITTER account at www.Sugar-Shapes.com. I manufacture and sell artisan sugar shapes for coffee and tea and this is yet another fabulous idea to pitch my product. Thank you Sally. I also have a teen who will soon turn 16 so this will be another special way to help celebrate her special day. Thank you!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      pamela1953, thank you so much for your comment. It really is an eye-opener to learn how regional this delightful tradition was. I, also, when I was a kid, thought every girl got these corsages. Maybe you can find a way to let this tradition start anew in North Carolina. Wouldn't that be grand? :)

    • profile image

      pamela1953 4 years ago

      WOW! I am from Brooklyn , NY and grew up getting a candy corsage every year. And I thought everyone did this. Little did I know. I moved to the mountains of North Carolina 9 years age and evryone thought I was crazy never heard of it. I was born in 1953 in Brooklyn and did not realize that it was only done in my small part of the world. I have twin daughters who are 25 now and I always made them candy corsages when they were growing up. They thought it was so neat. It's a great tradition and I will always remember my past Birthday, I think I still have some of the old ones packed away , somewhere. I really think it should be brought back.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Liz, thank YOU so much for sharing. These are sweet memories. :)

    • profile image

      Liz from Parkslope, Bklyn,NY 4 years ago

      How I remember always had one from my mom.. Toosie rolls bazooka, mints, lifesavers, sugar cubes and on my 18th Cigarettes..What memories thxs for sharing

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      toknowinfo and Millionaire Tips, thank you both for reading and commenting with your good words! I really would like to see this tradition come back. :)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on your hub of the day. I have never heard of candy corsages, but it does seem like a wonderful activity and a could result in a pretty decorative pin, like yours is. Voted up.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Such creative and fun ideas. Thanks for the wonderful tips and sharing your experiences.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thanks, Linda. I think so, too.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I'm back for another look at this amazing hub! Candy corsages are a genius idea!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I love the idea of the Tottenville Ferry spreading this tradition. You might be very right. Let's hope we get even more folks to chime in here. There's still a lot to be learned. :)

    • profile image

      MyButterflyGarden 5 years ago

      Sally's Trove, The closest school I attended near Tottenville was in Richmondtown and there were no corsages there, however it was an elementary school. The corsages were in the junior high school in Westerleigh, but nowhere to be found in high school. They were also in the junior high school in West Brighton, so they were in more than one school. The Tottenville Ferry possibly was a way for the idea to spread.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      MyButterflyGarden, one more thought. We were only a ferry ride away at that time, across the Arthur Kill. The Tottenville Ferry.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      MyButterflyGarden, I never heard of these trailing ribbons, but I love the idea. The purpose is the same, to honor a girl on her birthday. So, Staten Island may have had a different take on the tradition than Perth Amboy did in the same time frame. This is so cool.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      JC17, what a wonderful story about your carrying on this tradition in your family. Thanks so much for the suggestions about sugar dog biscuits and the Scooby-Doo cookies. I think they are great suggestions for carrying this forward.

    • profile image

      MyButterflyGarden 5 years ago

      The tradition was slightly different on Staten Island in the 60's. Our corsages had trailing ribbons , one for each birth year. Near the end of each ribbon was a penny candy, most likely bubblegum or a penny itself. The corsage bow itself may have been decorated with another matching candy piece. We put whatever we wanted on the ribbons each year as there was never a set candy for a particular birth year. But here's the fun part- all of a girl's friends would each make a corsage for her, and the happy birthday celebrant would wear all of these corsages to school on her birthday!

    • profile image

      JC17 5 years ago

      Hi! I remember my mother making these for us as kids! Now I'm doing it for my girls! I had a puppy party for my daughter last year and found sugar dog biscuits on bakersnook.com. They weren't individually wrapped, but they were pretty strong. You could also use Scooby-Doo graham cracker cookies, but that gets away from the candy idea. Anyway, hope this helps!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      @Janine Huldie, you and Mary surely are confirming my suspicion about the candy corsage being mostly a northeast tradition! Thanks so much for your good words and for the votes and shares. :)

      @jusbeth16, thanks for reading and commenting. Maybe you'll get that tradition going for girls in your family. :)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      tillsontitan, I was so pleased to read your comment. It really was something to get excited about! I think you also touched on an important element of this tradition, and that is sharing. It was nice to have something so pretty to wear all day and then be able to share it with your friends. Yes, you said "fun" a lot, because it WAS a lot of fun. :)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      @That Grrl and Glimmer Twin Fan,

      I'm so glad you like this idea. Perhaps you'll be starting a new tradition in your families. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      This is so interesting. I have never heard of this before reading this hub. What a great idea. My daughter will be 10 soon, she would probably like one of these. Thanks!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Oh my god, I had one of these every year for my birthday growing up as a kid. I had totally forgotten about it until seeing your article. I too grew up in Queens, NY just like Mary and this really was the thing. I loved reading about them and even seeing how to make one. Have voted up, shared and tweeted too!

    • profile image

      jusbeth16 5 years ago

      I never heard of this. Good idea!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      I'm sorry I missed this when it was Hub of the Day! It brought back many memories for me. I grew up in Queens, NY and birthday corsages were THE thing! We all waited with bated breath until we could officially wear the 'sweet 16 corsage'...I even remember passing out the sugar cubes at the end of the day....and of course the cigarette corsage, but I'll leave that to your imagination. Thank you for bringing back such fun and happy memories.

      Yes, it should be brought back as something to look forward to. Making those corsages was fun and almost as special as wearing them. (Did I say fun too many times?)

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 5 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I never heard or saw anything like this. Maybe it's a US thing. I like it. I have two nieces with birthdays close together this Fall. They would LOVE this and it will be fun to put together.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      PooPee Cakes, thank you for sharing your experiences of yesterday and today. I'm glad you advertised and got a response. Maybe the candy corsage tradition will kick in again one day soon. :)

    • profile image

      PooPee Cakes 5 years ago

      I remember getting one of these from my mother I said it was bublegum....she said it's dog bisquits. I'm from NY and this was a big thing....like you I wanted to bring it back and made one for my daughter the reaction was about the same as the one you got.....I however advertised in my shop and did get a customer who never heard of them.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Angela, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful memories of candy corsages and the love between you and your mother that they signified. You've warmed the hearts of many.

    • profile image

      Angela 5 years ago

      I remember this clearly. I would receive one each year from my mother...I lived in the Williamsburgh section of Brooklyn...and I remember each year I was proud to wear it...I had received one each year from 10 thru 16....then sadly my mom passed away and the tradition also.....thank you for the memories

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Connie, what a great insight into this tradition. I've come to think of it as cultural or geographical. I grew up in a community that was mostly Eastern European, and mostly Jewish. Not so much hispanic, then. I hope you can share more of your memories. :)

    • profile image

      connie 5 years ago

      I remember this clearly - Perhaps it was most popular in the hispanic tradition growing up. I grew up in the Bronx, and it was very popular!!!!!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      sammimills, urmilashukla23, and ishwaryaa22, thank you all for the great words and votes!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      @RTalloni, thanks for the congrats! I agree...younger girls would have a ball with this. :)

      @oceansnsunsets, thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed this!

      @Ruby H Rose, yes indeed, this tradition is probably getting the most exposure it ever had. I'm looking forward to more people sharing their memories and experiences. We still have plenty of gaps to fill!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      @jpcmc, I see your point, but in those days cigarettes and beer and cigars were the things that signified the passage into adulthood. I'm not sure what signifies that today. Thanks so much for your comment and good words.

      @Ciel Clark, you have so captured the essence of my daughter's reaction to this...when she was 16, she didn't get it, but the memory of it became something very special to her. What a beautiful and thoughtful comment you made. Thank you!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      @pstraubie48, please let us know what your nieces think of this. I love the idea that candy birthday corsages might become a tradition in your family. And TY so much for the congrats and good words. :)

      @Nell Rose, you bring up such good points about the candy cigarettes. I remember two kinds, the one you mention made of chocolate, and another chalky kind of candy. In my day, each sold for a penny a piece, or you could buy a pack/box of the chalky kind containing 5 cigs for a nickel. That's really funny as I think about it now...there was no extra charge for the packaging! Thanks so much for sharing your memories.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      @Stephanie Henkel, thank you so much for all the good words, and the pin, too. :) Interestingly, neither my daughter nor her student were particularly crazy about wearing their corsages, but my daughter LOVED making her student's.

      @Pamela N Red, I like drbj's money idea as a replacement for cigarettes or beer bottle caps. :) What do you think?

      @mary615, I think these corsages are great craft ideas, too. The materials are so inexpensive, especially if you're using recycled adornments as my daughter did, and they are quite easy to assemble. You'll have to publish pics of your and your daughters' creations!

      @rebeccamealey, I'm a big fan of retro, too. This hub seems to have generated quite a bit of interest in bringing back this tradition. I'll be watching, too! Thanks so much for leaving the good words. :)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      @Happyboomernurse, I remember those candies on elastic, too. I don't remember that I liked the taste of them, but they were a fad and I had to have them! I'd like to see this candy birthday corsage tradition come back, too. Thanks for your thoughtful comment and much valued votes. :)

      @DeborahNeyens, Marcy Goodfleisch, zann17, and livingpah2004, thanks so much to all of you for reading and leaving the kind words and votes. :)

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      This is a wonderful hub on birthday candy corsages. I admired this vintage tradition. Your personal story is well-explained and informative and the pictures of candy corsages are creative and pretty. Congrats on the Hub of the day! Well-deserved!

      Thanks for SHARING. Awesome. Voted up.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Great Hub! Good to know the history behind the candy corsages. Well presented. Useful and Voted up!