Today in 1987, the community of Gouverneur, New York placed on its town green a giant roll of Pep-O-Mint Life Savers.
Gouverneur isn’t where the candies were invented, or made, but one of its residents made Life Savers one of the most well known sweets of all time.
His name was Edward John Noble, and he got involved in the Life Savers story simply by buying a pack in 1913.
The brand was only about a year old at that point, but Noble thought it had a lot of potential, so he reached out to Clarence Crane, the creator.
Crane was primarily a chocolatier; he’d invented Life Savers so he’d have a candy to sell in the summer that wouldn’t melt (unlike his chocolates).
And, for the record, the name is just because the candies look like the flotation devices on ships and at pools.
It’s not because the hole in the middle could allow a person to breathe even if they choked on a candy.
(Which it didn’t. The hole was to distinguish Crane’s candies from similar ones made in Europe.)
Edward John Noble was in advertising, and he told Crane that he had lots of ideas on how to make Life Savers a big hit across the country.
Crane wasn’t interested; in fact, he was happy to part with Life Savers entirely, selling the brand to Noble for $2,900.
Noble then put his big ideas into practice.
One was to replace Crane’s cardboard packaging with the more effective foil wrappers still in use today.
The other was to convince retailers to keep Life Savers near the cash register, and to always include at least one nickel when giving change to a customer.
Why? Because the Life Savers ad slogan for decades was “still only 5 cents.”
Sometimes you just need a break.
Like a cat in Tokyo, who dropped by a Buddhist temple garden recently, walked into the grey gravel patterns and took a big old nap.
Honestly, that seems extremely Zen to me.
10 Things You Might Not Know about Life Savers (Mental Floss)
Unique Items— The Life Savers® (Gouverneur Museum)
Super Zen Cat Takes a Nap in the Middle of a Japanese Zen Garden (My Modern Met)