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By Brian K. Pitman
Advertising via carnival glass can create some spectacular examples of art, beauty and marketing. Anton Carl Dreibus spent the first sixteen years of his life in Kreuznach, Germany. At the age of 16, he moved to the United States, ending up in Chicago working as a jobber in different industries, including Schweitzer & Beer, a company that imported alcohol, toys and fine candies. Dreibus was elected the first Financial Secretary of the Confectioners’ Agents’ Union in 1880 after establishing himself as an important person in the industry. In 1884, he moved to Omaha, Nebraska to start up Kopp, Dreibus and Co. with Michael and Jacob Kopp. The company manufactured fine confections and also traded in cigars. In that time, the company gave out commemorative cards and children's spoons (seen here.)
The partnership among the three ended only four years later in 1888, and the Dreibus Candy Co. became a single entity under Anton's control. He employed various family members, including cousin Franz Josef Dreibus, who moved from Germany to work for Anton and ended up creating his own "Dreibus" candy company in Nebraska City (specializing in chocolates.)
Anton's company was the first steam candy company in the state of Nebraska, and he used 1,000 barrels of sugar annually in making his candies. He also developed a strong marketing campaign for the company, employing 10 traveling salesmen and developing various commemorative products to give away.
At some point, Northwood produced a carnival glass piece for Anton's company to promote its "Parfait Sweets" line of candies, eight of which are seen here. The pieces came as 6" bowls, plates, and handgrip (with one or two sides up, with the two sides up known as a card tray) plates. They were all in some variation of amethyst (including lavender and horehound.) The company continued to grow until the Great Depression hit. By the beginning of the 1930s, the company was in trouble and by the end of the 30s, it was gone. Anton died on October 23, 1937 in Omaha.
The Durham Museum in Omaha named the Dreibus Candy Co. to its Omaha Business Hall of Fame in 2009 and showed various items from the company in that year.
By Brian K. Pitman - 2015
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