Cleveland’s Lovely Little Life Savers


An advertisement for Lifesavers.


We have all had a Life Savers candy at some point in our life. (Love the cherry flavored Life Savers. And wintergreen.) But I suspect that not a lot of people know that Life Savers were created in Cleveland. It’s true. Cleveland millionaire chocolatier Clarence A. Crane introduced the Life Savers candy in 1912. Just a short year later, Crane sold the Life Savers trademark to a New York businessman. Anyway, Crane was inspired to create the candy because he was looking for a “summer candy” – a confection that would not melt during the summer, as his chocolate often would during the dog days of summer. He thought the candy looked similar to “life preservers” often found on boats, thus the name Life Savers. The first Life Savers flavor, by the by, was Pep-O-Mint (still a fan favorite). The candies were originally placed in little cardboard tubes, not the foil wrap used today (the New York businessman who acquired the brand invented the wrapper a few years later).

Interesting side note:  Clarence A. Crane is the father of noted Cleveland poet – Hart Crane, whose famous collection The Bridge was published in 1931. Hart Crane leapt to his death while sailing across the Atlantic on a return trip to the United States; ironically never reaching the life saver that was cast his way while overboard.

About Tech Czar
Former "Tech Czar" for the City of Cleveland, fascinated by the civic space, history (Cleveland & Military), entrepreneurship, social media, food and travel. My first book on Cleveland history will be published by History Press ( this fall.

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