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  • Georgia's Gift to Chirstmas: The Candy Cane Factory

    Bobs Candies, an Albany company founded by Bob McCormack in 1919, is the largest manufacturer of striped candy in the world. McCormack was the first manufacturer to wrap his candy in cellophane. In the 1950s, Gregory McCormack invented a machine to twist the candy and bend it into a cane. The Keller machine revolutionized the business and created a new industry–the commercial manufacture of candy canes. McCormack's grandchildren comment about working at the factory. 

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. How did technology change the way Bobs Candies manufactures his candy?

    2. Discuss other industries in Georgia and the U.S. that have been revolutionized by either mechanization or technology. How have they been transformed?

    Expansion

    1. Finish the story of Bobs Candies. The company was sold in 2005 and the manufacturing facilities in Albany were closed. Research and find out what happened to Bobs Candies. There is a sweet ending; Bobs Candy Canes are still available today.

    Vocabulary

    cellophane: a clear, waterproof, and airtight clear covering for food and other non-edibles
    prosper: succeed in material terms; be financially successful
    automation: the use of controlled machine equipment in a system of manufacturing or other production process instead of making by hand

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. How did technology change the way Bob’s Candies manufactures his candy?
    At first, making the candy and wrapping it by hand was labor-intensive and slow. Two machines invented by a family member mechanized the candy production. One machine twisted and cut the candy, and the other one bent it to make the candy canes.

    2. Discuss other industries in Georgia and the U.S. that have been revolutionized by either mechanization or technology. How have they been transformed?
    Students may already have learned about Henry Ford's idea of mass production which revolutionized the auto industry. If not, remind them of how this made automobiles more affordable to the masses. There were fewer models of Ford automobiles, and they came in one color: black. The Model T and the Model A were the ones that became popular and affordable to the average American. This was the beginning of the huge industry that still exists today. Most manufacturing depends on the mass production of products both to keep costs low/competitive and to keep adequate supplies on hand of popular items. Many products could be named.

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