From the days before the flashy Bondish glamour of Milk Tray or the lippy hussiness of Flake, this lovely, poetic advertisement for BB Toffee as it appeared in the Dublin Civic Week Handbook, 1927. Confectionery, it seems, was still the food of love back then, albeit a love ending in lawful wedlock and fed not by awakening a girl’s libido (was there even such a thing as the female libido, back then in 1920s Ireland?) but by quenching the incessant flow of woman-talk enough to make her marriageable.
I love the first line of the poem. So funny.
BB was manufactured by Liam Devlin & Sons, Cork Street, a company known not only for its confectionery but also for its enamelled Easter eggs (now collectors’ items) and the cards included free with its sweet cigarettes. The man behind it, Mr Liam Devlin, was a Belfastman active in IRA intelligence during the War of Independence; his pub in Parnell Square served as Michael Collins’ unofficial headquarters as well as a refuge for IRA men from the country, who never left without a square meal cooked by the presumably toffee-silent Mrs Devlin.
Liam Devlin died in 1964 and the company ceased trading in the early 1970s. Another advertisement for BB, one of its most popular products, this time aimed at the child market, below (courtesy of Dublin City Libraries). It looks delicious. I am not sure how long it takes toffee to become inedible. Perhaps there is a still unopened box out there?