Candy Containers do Double Duty!

posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Cedar Falls Historical Society's Cabinet of Curiosities includes antique candy dishes!

“…in the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love…” or so says the line from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem, “Locksley Hall.”  For others, spring brings to mind many delicious opportunities for the eating and giving of chocolate—think Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mothers’ Day, for starters…

This spring, on March 1, 2017, the Cedar Falls Historical Society kicks off a new initiative called the Cabinet of Curiosities series.  A collaborative effort between the Victorian Home Council and collectors in the community, the series aims to reach different audiences each season by bringing in new and interesting collections and programming to the Victorian Home.  This spring, items in Terri and Brad DeHoff’s collection of antique candy containers will be featured.  The collection will be on display in a cabinet in the Victorian Home’s kitchen until June. 

Terri and Brad have been actively searching for and collecting candy containers for about 20 years, although they have owned a number of their pieces for longer than that.  Several were collected before the DeHoffs even knew what they really were. Over the years, they have amassed over 350 pieces ranging from papier-mâché rabbits to glass race cars and fire engines.   All the pieces started off as intricate containers filled with candy, meant as gifts for children.  They served a second purpose as well—once the candy had been eaten, the containers became nice little toys.  Young girls collected sets of furniture for their dollhouses, young boys collected sets of cars and other vehicles.  Pieces in Terri and Brad’s collection date from 1890 to 1950 and came mostly from antique shows, shops and eBay.

The Cedar Falls Historical Society's Cabinet of Curiosities includes antique candy dishes!

Terri notes, “Those of us who collect candy containers identify with this fascination, but even non-collectors can admire the variety of subject matter, materials, and creativity used in their production.  Whether a collector is drawn to papier-mâché, fabric, tin, or plastic - whether the interest lies in items from the late 1800s or the 1940s and 50s – or whether the love is in holiday items, souvenirs or toys, there is something for everyone to appreciate.” 

Each season, a workshop or program that supplements the featured collection will be offered as well.  On Sunday, March 26th, from 2:00-3:00, the Historical Society will host Lisa Dailey from Chocolaterie Stam - Cedar Falls (122 Main St.) to talk about chocolate and the Stam family’s chocolate and candy legacy.  She will have samples on hand.  The event is free, but seating will be limited.  To register, please call (319) 266-5149.

We do hope visitors will pop in to the Victorian Home to see this lovely collection, and that they will stop by again and again as the seasons and the Cabinets and collections change throughout the year.

The Victorian Home is open to the public Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10:00-4:00, and Sundays from 1:00-4:00.  There is no admission fee.

If you'd like ideas of places to eat or places to stay when you visit the Cedar Falls Historical Society sites, visit Places to Eat & Drink and Places to Stay on our website. If you have questions about things to do in Cedar Falls, feel free to visit the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 6510 Hudson Road or give us a call at 800-845-1955 (319-268-4266). 

Many thanks to our guest blogger, Diane Schupbach, of the Cedar Falls Historical Society. 

The Victorian Home is just one of the sites you can visit that is part of the Cedar Falls Historical Society.


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