Vintage 1940s Candy Tin - Katharine Beecher Butter Mints
People who love to eat are always the best people. Julia Child
One of Pennsylvania's greatest 20th-century entrepreneurial success stories is this sweet one, about the life and times of Katharine Beecher.
Born in Pennsylvania, it took a marriage, a move to Indiana and then another move to North Carolina before Katharine would ever become familiar with the butter mints that would one day make her famous. During her few years spent in NC, she sampled and then fell in love with this sweet candy so much so she asked her Southern friends to teach her the recipe.
When Katharine moved back to Pennsylvania, she began making batches of butter mints for friends that she entertained. As all good success stories go - word of mouth got out. Everybody loved Katharine's butter mints so much, that she began selling them out of her kitchen in the early 1930s. As local popularity grew and interest was gained, especially from the specialty food market, her mints began to sell, and ship, from the Mid-Atlantic to the Mid-West. Katharine was on her way to building an empire made out of candy.
But then WWII came along. Sugar was rationed. There was not enough available for Katherine to make her mints. In a clever move, she began selling her sweet treats to the military and when popularity grew like wildfire there too, the military contracted her to make sweets for them, and gave her all the sugar she needed to continue making candy and growing her business.
By the late 1940s, Katharine Beecher was making over $300,000 a year (equivalent to over $3 million today) with her line of confectionaries. She remained hands-on and at the helm of her business until 1952 when she passed away. Her son carried on after death for the next twenty years but then sold the business to the Pennsylvania Dutch Company. From there, the business changed hands again. The brand can still be found online today carrying various confectionaries including peanut brittle and Katharine's famous butter mints.
This vintage Katharine Beecher butter mint tin dates to the 1930s/1940s era of the company when Katharine was building her business and watching it get bigger and better year after year. It is a gorgeous shade of emerald green and a lovely size to use for kitchen storage or pantry organization.
Featured here in the listing is a photo of Katharine's small-batch assembly line as workers packed candies into tins. Katharine is featured second from bottom. (Photo courtesy of the York Dispatch, February 5th, 1949).
- Colors include gold, emerald green and black
- The ingredient list is written on the side along with the availability of colors. The mints came in pink, yellow, green and white.
In lovely vintage condition. The colors are still so strong and bright. There are some scuff marks that show the silver below on the front and a clear type of rust mark that measures 3" inches in length which is located right next to the butter mints wording. The backside bottom of the tin has scratches as expected with 70-80 years of age but the interior is very clean and bright and scratch-free. The interior lid contains non-sticky residue from two old pieces of clear tape. Please see photos.
This tin measures 6.5" inches (diameter) x 2" inches (height) and weighs 6 oz.