Which Ruth, Is The Truth?
Sweet treats were a specialty of the Curtiss Candy Company. In 1916, they introduced the tasty Kandy Kake, a candy bar with pastry in the center, topped with nuts and coated in chocolate. But it was only a modest success.
Then in 1921, they re-shaped the bar into a log, made the center caramel and peanuts, and coated it with chocolate, again. The revamped product sold for a nickel, half the price of other bars. It was re-named as well, emerging as the Baby Ruth, and the debate was on.
The Curtiss Co. has always maintained, that the bar was named for the eldest daughter of president Grover Cleveland. Others have claimed that it was named for baseball great Babe Ruth. The company denied this, stating that the bar had been introduced before Ruth became famous. Yet Babe Ruth was front page news in late 1920.
Perhaps the truth of the story has been buried in time, and Curtiss' simply sticks to the company line. But consider this: Grover Cleveland was not the president when the bar was released as the Baby Ruth in 1921. And Cleveland's daughter had died in 1904, when she was only 12 years old. Further complicating the issue, is the Curtiss statement that Ruth had visited the factory "some years before". But she was dead before even the original bar was created.
The association with the baseball great's name stuck, though. And in a curious twist, Curtiss found themselves in court, fighting the sale of the "Babe Ruth Home Run Bar", saying it was too close to the name of their own product. But not admitting any association with the baseball slugger, who they might have had to pay, for the privilege. They won. And the mystery lives on.