Leo Hirshfield was looking around for a name for the new confection he was making from a recipe he'd brought over from Europe in 1896. He choose the name of his 6 year old daughter, Clara, whose nickname was Tootsie.
Tootsie Rolls were the first penny candy to be individually wrapped in paper. They were one of the top choices of children who only had a few pennies to spend on satisfying a sweet tooth.
In the 1930s, the first soft-centered lollipops, Tootsie Pops, were sold. The hard candy on the outside covered the Tootsie Roll center.
During World War II, Tootsie Rolls were favored by soldiers because they could be kept in pockets and barracks bags without melting. They were also a great source of quick energy.
In the late 1940s, Tootsie Rolls were advertised on the comic pages of many Sunday newspapers. The main cartoon character was Captain Tootsie who was a Superman-like hero who took kids on various adventures.
Tootsie Rolls Memories
I have a recent memory for the Tootsie Rolls that I enjoyed as a child. When my son was 5 he was enjoying a much celebrated candy snack of Tootsie Rolls. From the time he was born I had always affectionately referred to his darling little feet as "tootsies". As he was having his snack he slipped one of the wrapped candy rolls between his toes, pointed to his foot and said, "Get it?...a "Tootsie" roll"!
I laughed out loud and knew he was a smart kid to make a pun at such a young age! He is now 13 and still enjoys Tootsie Rolls (although those darling little feet are now huge so he doesn't put them between his toes anymore!) I teach High School and reward my students for good behavior and work effort with candy treats. With all of the choices they have, their favorite is Tootsie Rolls! It's nice to know the new high-tech generation appreciates a classic! ~ Diane from Texas