A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 16, 2004
Tootsie Roll
It's universally accepted that Leo Hirschfield invented the "Tootsie Roll" in New York City in 1896, naming it after his daughter.

That might be correct, but I have a few questions. Why does the trademark date have 1908? What are we to make of a brief New York Times story that credits Samuel F. Williams?




http://www.tootsie.com/faq.html
How did you come up with the name "Tootsie?"
An Austrian immigrant, Leo Hirshfield, producing the candy in a small store in New York City and ended up naming the candy after his five-year-old daughter, whose nickname was "Tootsie."

http://www.tootsie.com/history.html
Tootsie Roll Historical Timeline 1896-2003
1896
Austrian immigrant Leo Hirshfield brings to the U.S. his recipe for a chocolatey, chewy candy, which he begins producing in a small store in New York City.Hirshfield names the candy after his five-year-old daughter, whose nickname is "Tootsie."
1905
Tootsie Rolls are now produced in a four-story candy factory in New York City.
1917
The name of the company is changed to Sweets Company of America.Sweets Company of America begins to advertise nationally.

17 October 1980, Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle-Telegram, pg. D-11, col. 7:
Her husband pointed with pride to the fact that despite soaring costs, Tootsie Rolls can still be bought for a penny, the same price charged by Leo Hirschfield, the immigrant founder of the company who hand-rolled the first familiar roll 84 years ago and named it for his daughter.

The first Tootsie Rolls also were the first penny candy to come in a wrapper and all of the ten million rolls that are produced daily still are individually wrapped - no small factor in making it one of the most popular Halloween "trick or treat" handouts.

17 October 1931, New York Times, pg. 12:
SAMUEL F. WILLIAMS.
Originator of "Tootsie Rolls" Dies
in His 48th Year.
Samuel Ferebee Williams, former vice president of the Sweets Company of America, died on Thursday at his home, 310 West Forty-fourth Street, in his forty-eighth year.

(U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)
Word Mark TOOTSIE ROLLS
Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: CANDY. FIRST USE: 19080900. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19080900
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Design Search Code 261111 261121
Serial Number 71204379
Filing Date October 24, 1924
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 0199794
Registration Date June 16, 1925
Owner (REGISTRANT) SWEETS COMPANY OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED, THE CORPORATION VIRGINIA 414 WEST 45TH STREET NEW YORK NEW YORK(LAST LISTED OWNER) TOOTSIE ROLL INDUSTRIES, INC. CORPORATION BY CHANGE OF NAME FROM VIRGINIA 7401 SOUTH CICERO AVENUE CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60629
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Prior Registrations 0062197;0075218;0112327
Disclaimer APPLICANT DISCLAIMS THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO THE USE OF THE WORD "ROLLS" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN.
Description of Mark THE OBLIQUE LINING ON THE DRAWING IS INTENDED TO DENOTE THE COLOR BROWN. THE OTHER LINING, NAMELY THAT IN DOTS, IS INTENDED TO DENOTE THE COLOR GOLD.
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Renewal 3RD RENEWAL 19851001
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
Food/Drink • (4) Comments • Saturday, October 16, 2004 • Permalink


Sam Williams was my uncle. I would be interested to know if this disputed was ever settled.

Posted by Philip McMullan  on  11/08  at  05:30 PM

In 1935 the company was in serious difficulty. Its principal supplier of paper boxes, Joseph Rubin & Sons of Brooklyn, concerned about the possible loss of an important customer, became interested in the possibility of acquiring control. The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, but Bernard D. Rubin acquired a list of shareholders and approached them in person in order to purchase their shares. The Rubins eventually achieved control and agreed that Bernard would run the company as president. Bernard D. Rubin was able to steadily increase sales and restore profits, changing the formula of the Tootsie Roll and increasing its size, moving from Manhattan to a much larger plant in Hoboken, N.J., and guiding the company successfully through the difficult war years when vital raw materials were in short supply. When he died in 1948 he had increased the sales volume twelvefold. After his death his brother William B. Rubin became president and remained president until 1962. In 1966 the company adopted its current name of Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc.

Posted by TootsieRollFan  on  12/24  at  01:34 PM

Samuel F. Williams was my cousin and I would like to know more about him and when he was President of the company that made the Tootsie roll.  When did the company move from N. J. to Chicago?  When did Mr. Williams leave the company?  Thanks!!

Posted by Daniel J. Williams  on  03/22  at  06:51 PM

Samuel Ferebee Williams was still with the Sweets Candy Company at the time of his death in 1931. My aunt, his widow Siggie Nordstrom had a number of advertising booklets for Tootsie Roll one of which had his photo and a caricature of him holding a champaign glass with a note in a bubble saying “pre prohibition”

Posted by David Mcjonathan  on  06/12  at  08:44 AM

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