Oh Henry!

Oh Henry!
Oh Henry! bar
An Oh Henry! split

Oh Henry! is a chocolate bar containing peanuts, caramel, and fudge coated in chocolate. It was first introduced in 1920, by the Williamson Candy Company of Chicago, Illinois. According to legend, Oh Henry! was originally named after a boy who frequented the Williamson company, flirting with the girls who made the candy. The name is also said to be a homage to American writer, O. Henry. However, there is no definitive explanation as to the exact origin of the name.

Another theory is that the candy bar was invented by a man named Tom Henry of Arkansas City, Kansas. Tom Henry ran a candy company called the Peerless candy factory, and in 1919 he started making the Tom Henry candy bar. He sold the candy bar to Williamson Candy Company in 1920 where they later changed the name to "Oh Henry!". Henry's family now runs a candy factory in Dexter, Kansas that sells "momma henry" bars, which are near identical to the original candy bar.

In 1923, an employee of Williamson, John Glossinger, announced that he was going to make the Oh Henry! bar a national best seller. Company officials said it was impossible and denied him the funds for an advertising campaign. Glossinger went into the streets and pasted stickers saying merely "Oh Henry!" onto automobile bumpers. People became curious as to what an Oh Henry! was and sales for the bar rose quickly.

Nestlé acquired the United States rights to the brand in 1984, and continues to produce the bar. In Canada, the bar is currently sold by The Hershey Company and manufactured at their Smiths Falls, Ontario facilities. Because of Canada's different chocolate standards, the Canadian "Oh Henry!" is not considered a "chocolate bar" and is labelled instead as a "candy bar." In fact, unlike the American version, which labels the bar as "milk chocolate," the Canadian version makes no mention of chocolate on the front of the wrapper. Hershey sells Oh Henry! bars made in Canada on a very limited basis in the United States as Rally bars, using the trademark of a Hershey product introduced in the 1970s and later discontinued.[1]

Cultural references

During Henry Aaron's quest to break Babe Ruth's record for career home runs in Major League Baseball, the bar was briefly advertised as being linked to him, even though it was first marketed years before he was even born.[citation needed]

Baseball fans in Montreal and Chicago would routinely toss the bars onto the playing field in celebration of a Henry Rodriguez home run.[2][3]

On the American television series Seinfeld, the character of Sue Ellen Mischke, a socialite nemesis of Elaine Benes, is said to be "heiress to the Oh Henry! candy bar fortune." [4]

On the American television series All in the Family, Edith Bunker admits to having stolen a Oh Henry! bar from the corner store as a young girl, but years later paid the store back.[citation needed]


  1. ^ http://www.candyblog.net/blog/item/rally_bar
  2. ^ Chicago Tribune, [1], June 4, 1999
  3. ^ Chicago Tribune, [2], May 31, 1999
  4. ^ The Caddy. Writers: Gregg Kavet & Andy Robin Director: Andy Ackerman. NBC. January 25, 1996.

External links

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