Invented in 1948, the PEZ dispenser has been around for sixty years. The candy itself has an even longer history, dating back some twenty years prior to this event. In 1927, PEZ candy
was introduced in Vienna, Austria, as what could possibly be the world’s first-ever breath mint. The company marked its 80th anniversary as a brand in 2008.
The name “PEZ” was derived from the German word for peppermint, “pfefferminz.” Using the first, middle, and last letter of the word, Haas came up with the name “PEZ.” Nearly
twenty years after the candy was created, in 1948, Oscar Uxa invented and patented a little mechanical box for dispensing the candy. Resembling a cigarette lighter, the dispenser offered
a hygienic way to share the candy without the risk of having someone else’s fingers in your candy tin. This new PEZ “box” invention was quickly marketed as an upscale adult product
and had moderate success throughout Europe. In 1952-53, Haas and company decided to expand the product to the American consumer. In the span of less than two years, it looked as
though PEZ was not going to be a viable product for the U.S. market.