Boston Candy Museum
The Spindler Confections shop in North Cambridge features a collection celebrating the candy-making history of the Boston area. The collection includes historic candy boxes, advertisements, store displays, equipment, packaging and many more surprises.
The Boston metro area was once home to over 140 confectioneries, many of them large multi-story factories. Main Street in Cambridge, once known as “Confectioners Row”, was arguably the epicenter for American candy production through 1950.
It all started when John Hannon built the first chocolate mill in the area in 1765. Sugar refineries soon popped up, and the industry began its boom when Oliver R. Chase invented a special machine that churned out flavored chalky wafers in 1847. We know them today as NECCO Wafers.
The chocolate & candy industry grew tremendously, reaching its peak in the 1950’s. Most of the factories are now torn down, but remnants remain and some were repurposed.
Many things led to the industry’s decline, but inexpensive poorly made confections, along with the rise of high-fructose corn syrup, and a changing consumer taste led in part to their demise.