Some of you might remember a time when you and your friends would go down to your local candy store or five and dime and get a perfect disguise kit for a handful of change. You could have big full lips that would make Angelina Jolie jealous, be a sleek detective with a handlebar mustache or pretend you were a vampire and chase the other kids around the neighbor with your brand new set of fangs.  Yes, of course, we’re talking about wax lips, wax moustaches, and wax fangs, and though our mothers always not to play with our food, this was one of the earliest candies that also served as a toy. 

Though it’s all fun and games in the end, did you ever wonder where wax lips, et al., got their beginnings? Would you be surprised if we told you that they’re made from stuff that’s older than dinosaurs? Yes, friends, you read that right: Wax lips, mustaches, fangs and even Nik-L-Nips, those little wax bottles with the fruity-tasting liquid inside, are all made out of petroleum product called paraffin. And though many people erroneously believe that petroleum comes from dinosaurs, the fact is that oil is the product of dead marine plants and animals that lived millions and millions of years ago – even before dinosaurs! However, before your gag reflex goes into overdrive, the paraffin wax used in Nik-L-Nip wax bottles is food-grade wax and totally non-toxic (though you shouldn’t really swallow it anyway).

Nevertheless, even though the main ingredient that goes into wax lips, moustaches, etc., is millions of years old, the wax lips, moustaches, etc., themselves are comparatively young.

In 1859, the American oil industry was born in Titusville, Pennsylvania. As the search for black gold began spreading nationwide, new oilfields brought new resource for light and other petroleum by-products. One of the derivatives that came from this petroleum is kerosene, and one of the byproducts of refining kerosene is something called paraffin wax. As a result of the discovery of this new petroleum by-product, paraffin moved from refinery to marketplace and was used in candles, sealing waxes — and even candy and chewing gums and that’s when wax lips, moustaches, fangs, and even in a way, the familiar Nik-L-Nips bottles, were born.

In 1923, John W. Glenn, a Buffalo, New York confectioner started making paraffin “penny chewing gum novelties”, and he was so good at it that he had 100 employees and 18 traveling salesmen working for him at his Glenn Confections company.

One of the first products that Mr. Glenn’s confectionary company had rolling down the line was a product called Wax Horse Teeth that tasted like wintergreen. Later he added other products called Fun Gum Sugar Lips, Wax Fangs, and the ever-popular Nik-L-Nips, all made with refined, food-grade paraffin from the Emlenton Refining Company of Emlenton, Pennsylvania known today as The Quaker State Refining Company. Glenn Confections, Inc. would continue into the 1970s adding other wax and fruit-tasting liquid filled confections such as wax noses and fingers, a six shooter, and the Wowee, a colorful wax harmonica. Sadly, sometime between the 1970s and now, the Glenn Confection Company stopped making its wax novelty candies.

However you can still get Wax Lips and other paraffin candies Today that are made by Concord Confections, a small part of Tootsie-Roll Industries and, in fact, it’s Tootsie Roll Industry that now makes Nik-L-Nips. 

Oh, and by the way, in case you’re wondering where the Nik-L-Nips name came from, according to the Tootsie Roll website “the Nik-L-Nip brand name is a combination of the original cost (Nickel) and preferred wax bottle-opening technique (Nip).”

If you’re waxing nostalgic about candies you grew up with why not make a stop at one of your local Stuckey’s locations for a taste of the same candies you remember growing up with. Not only can you enjoy our world famous Stuckey’s pecan log roll and other fine pecan candies you’ll remember from the family road trips of your youth, but you’ll also be transported in time to some of your other childhood favorites such as Goo Goo Clusters, MoonPies, and rock candy!

While you’re there, pick up some road trip snacks for kids and adults alike including our bags of flavored pecans or our mouth-watering popcorn treats featuring the one-of-a-kind, deliciously good Hunkey Dorey popcorn mix.

And if your also feeling a little nostalgic about the cross-country family road trips of your youth, be sure to also browse our wide selection of retro-inspired  Stuckey’s t-shirts, caps and mugs, as well as our unique souvenirs, gifts, and other Stuckey’s memorabilia while you’re there.

Can’t find a Stuckey’s near you? Well, Stuckey’s is as close as your own front door when you order from us online. Go to stuckeys.com for more information on how you can be nibbling on a Stuckey’s pecan log roll while laying in the backseat of your car this weekend reminiscing about your childhood family vacations. Or better yet, why not start making plans for an ultimate family road trip of your own this summer?

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!