Little Imps Tin

Little Imps Tin

Usage conditions apply
This round, yellow tin contains black and red writing and red, yellow and black graphics. It was used to store and market Little Imps breath mints. The lid contains the name of the product and the manufacturing company, The American Confection Co. of Boston.
Sweet treats have been a part of the human diet nearly since the beginning of human existence. The type of treat has changed over time, but human desire for sweetness has not. Candy can be hard or chewy, may or may not contain chocolate and can be sweet or sour. Sugar cane was introduced to Europeans when crusaders brought the substance back from the Middle East, and it was with these Europeans that sugar gained its highly prized status as an art form and a gift to be given away on special occasions. A status that persists to this day when a suitor gives their beloved chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Early pharmacists also often used sugar to mask the bitter tastes of their medical concoctions or prescribed sugar as a cure for an ailment itself.
At one time, small family owned confectionary shops dominated the American landscape. Opening a candy making business was a relatively low cost investment, all one needed was a kitchen and a basket to sell their treats from on the street. As demand grew, they could grow their business. Today, many of these small businesses have been absorbed into large corporations who command a much greater market power.
Currently not on view
Object Name
container, food
container, food
container, food
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
overall: 3/4 in x 1 1/2 in; 1.905 cm x 3.81 cm
ID Number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Production and Manufacturing
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object