Hoyt's But-A-Kiss Candy Tin Appraisal
Candy from the man who saw the promise in peanut butter
Thank you for sending me a picture of your Hoyt's But-A-Kiss candy tin from Amesbury, Mass. It dates to the 1920s and is an amazing scale for a candy tin, measuring nearly three feet high! A tin such as this would have been not for household use but instead for use in a general store to house and display the candy for sale.
In the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, Amesbury was a thriving industrial mill town located on the Merrimack River. Producing award-winning boats, carriages (Amesbury is known as "Carriage Town"), trolley cars, automobile bodies, lanterns and even hats, Amesbury was a city of invention involved in the Industrial Revolution. What is lesser known is that at the turn of the 19th century in Amesbury, a young fellow by the name of Frank Hoyt decided to make something out of peanuts. By milling peanuts into peanut butter, Hoyt created a product that he called Buffalo Brand Peanut Butter. Soon after Hoyt experimented with his peanut idea, which was just prior to the invention and patent of a peanut butter press in St. Louis, he presented this peanut butter delight at the World's Fair in Buffalo, NY, in 1902.
We cannot say that Frank Hoyt invented peanut butter (that was done by the Aztecs), but we can say that he popularized it and created an industry that started in Amesbury. By 1923, Hoyt's company was selling peanut butter not only all over North America, but also in other countries. Hoyt expanded his business into candy making, creating a wonderful surprise of a peanuty, buttery confection that he called But-A-Kiss.
My wife grew up in Amesbury and lived in one of the historic homes from the late 1600s, just outside of the town's center. Perhaps some Hoyt's peanut candies — always a Halloween delight — were served there many years ago.
Your large But-A-Kiss tin originally had a lid and was sent full of candy to be displayed and sold in general stores all over the country. I would value your Hoyt's tin at $125.