R.I.P. Curtis Allina – Inventor of the PEZ dispenser

 

From Star Trek to Star Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to GUNDAM, Warner Brothers Looney Tunes to Disney, MARVEL UNIVERSE to The Simpsons, Wizard of Oz to Sesame Street and SpongeBob to Nintendo – PEZ has it all!

 

Curtis Allina is the inventor of the forever popular PEZ dispenser. He passed away Tuesday 5th 2010 at the age of 87 at his home in Olympia, Washington. Heart Failure. This is one legacy that will live on, refill, anon forever.

Originally, PEZ weren’t aimed at kids at all. They were mints – the name PEZ comes from the German word for peppermint, Pfefferminz – and when the dispensers arrived on the scene, they were supposed to resemble cigarette lighters as the candies were marketed as an alternative to smoking.

Then along came Curtis Allina who, back in 1955, convinced the PEZ company to put the whimsical heads on their dispensers.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

Today PEZ is a highly collectible pop-cultural artifact. Not to mention tasty treat, for children and adults.

…I’m going to the dairy to PEZ out in honour of Mr Curtis Allina.

Curtis Allina was born Aug. 15, 1922, in Prague, and raised in Vienna. Between 1941 and 1945, he and his family, Sephardic Jews, were forced into a series of concentration camps. Mr. Allina emerged at war’s end as his family’s sole survivor in Europe. Making his way to New York, he worked for a commercial meatpacker before joining Pez-Haas, as the company’s United States arm was then known, in 1953. [full story/nytimes]

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~ by Fionnlagh on January 8, 2010.

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