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LIFE SAVERS

LIFE SAVERS, the brightly colored ring-shaped candies, were developed by Cleveland chocolate manufacturer Clarence A. Crane, father of poet HART CRANE. Clarence Crane began making and selling chocolate candy in Cleveland in Apr. 1891. The following year he introduced "Crane's Peppermint Life Savers" to bolster his slow chocolate sales during the summer. In 1913 he sold his Life Saver business and trademark for $2,900 to New York businessmen Edward J. Noble and J. Roy Allen, who then formed the Mint Prods. Co. to market the peppermint candies Crane supplied. Crane shipped the candies in cardboard tubes which absorbed the candies' flavor, and business was poor until Noble designed a new foil package. By 1915 Noble and Allen were producing Life Savers themselves and no longer used Crane as a supplier. Although Crane did not benefit from their later success, his chocolate business continued to expand. The Crane Chocolate Co. was incorporated in 1916 and by 1921 it had sales outlets in New York and Kansas City. Crane himself embarked upon several other business ventures before his death on 6 July 1931.