Thursday, July 4, 2013

Mom's Sugar Tongs

Mom related a lot of stories about her life and her possessions, but I never heard one about her sugar tongs which I found in the back of her silverware drawer after she died. The tongs are three inches long and there's a name embossed on the side in script that is hard to decipher. Is it a capital H or K? A small y or g? Did they hold a special meaning? Where did she get them? I never saw her use the tongs but that may have been because we used granulated sugar, a sugar bowl and sugar spoon - not sugar cubes except on very rare occasions.

They're not as fancy as these silver ones. Her's were made of stamped brass. Still, there must have been a story there.

The stroke I had in April made me realize I'd better be telling my own stories, so when Kari was here last month we went through the jewelry boxes, the trinket drawers, etc. One of the things I showed her was Mom's sugar tongs. She suggested we try looking them up online. First I tried 'Kugler's', but nothing came up. She looked at them and said "I think it is H-u-y-l-e-r-'s". Sure enough we found the above picture of tongs almost exactly like Mom's.
But, SURPRISE - they weren't sugar tongs at all. They were candy tongs which came packed in boxes of Huyler's fancy chocolates. It was considered proper to select a piece of candy with tongs, not your fingers.

Wouldn't I love to have had one of these antique candy boxes when I was into collecting tins? Kari wondered if the tongs were from a box of candy her Grandpa Louis had given to Grandma Ruth. Huyler's apparently was in business during the late 1900's up until around 1930.

I may have read that Milton S. Hershey got his start with Huyler's when I read Michael D. Antonio's book about Hershey and blogged about here, but if I did, I didn't connect it with Mom's sugar candy tongs. When you look at the Huyler's signature in the above old ad for their Bonbons, don't you understand why it was hard to decipher, especially from a three inch embossed piece of brass? I know I'll never use Mom's tongs for candy, but I might buy some sugar cubes and use the tongs at the next tea party.

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