The Truth About Why There's A Hole In Life Savers

At some time or another, it seems everyone has encountered Life Savers at some point in their life. Whether it was the mint Life Savers or the fruity or chewy versions, there's always a point in childhood when the candy surfaces. For others, the holidays just are not complete until stockings are filled with at least one Life Saver book (via Old Time Candy).

While the candy now comes in many flavors (and even a gummy variety), Life Savers were not always as kid-friendly as they are now. In fact, they were first sold as "breath savers" and were manufactured by a pharmaceutical pill maker. The original idea for the mint candy came from a candy maker named Clarence Crane, who thought it up during summer days when his chocolate sales slumped since it melted so easily (via Snopes).

The new mints were designed to be round with a hole punched in the middle, which was designed to stand out against the mints shaped like pillows that were being imported from Europe in the early 1900s. When he saw the mints, complete with their now-recognizable hole, he realized they looked like life preservers, and the name "Life Savers" was born.

The strange true twist to an otherwise imagined fable

Many people have taken to heart a literal interpretation of the candy's name, which even inspired a widely-passed-around story. Many believed the candy was made and named "Life Saver" after the inventor's daughter had choked and died on a mint candy without a hole in the middle. Many thought the candy was created to prevent the same thing from happening to other people's children.

While the real story behind Life Savers is nowhere near as tragic, there is one strange twist to the inventor's life story that is similar to the well-known fable. His son, who was a grown man at the time, committed suicide by jumping from a boat in the Caribbean. Apart from losing a child, though later in life, the tale is not how Life Savers got their name, nor why they have a hole in the middle.