On Thursday, November 11, 1971, The Daily Princetonian ran a story about an exhibition of candy wrappers at the Firestone Library. “As a boy,” the story begins, “Ephraim di Kahble, an elusive member of the Class of 1939, had a tremendous sweet tooth.” The reporter goes on to recount how Kahble’s father had encouraged the young boy to write to candy companies and collect their wrappers. A sizable collection resulted, despite an incident during World War II in which Kahble was almost court-martialed for impersonating a candy inspector and stealing chocolate from European factories. This collection was ultimately donated to the graphic arts collection.
In fact, Kahble was a fictitious student, whose exploits turn up in a variety of printed stories and Princeton records. He was the invention of Frederick E. Fox, class of 1939, who did indeed write to candy companies as a Princeton freshman and gathered a collection of wrappers.
The letterhead on the stationery from the companies who responded to Fox is almost as intriguing as the candy wrappers themselves. Happily, many of these letters have been preserved along with company ephemera in GC149: Printed Ephemera, Candy