Fern Brand Chocolates, Northwood

This is one of the most frequently seen advertising pieces. As with most others, it's 6 inches across. The lettering reads "Fern Brand Chocolates" and there is a fern frond substituted for one of the flowers usually found on these pieces. I have no records of any bowls in this pattern.

Hartung Book Four: Northwood Advertising

Plate, single handgrip

Amethyst, 375 (2012), 180, 200 (both 2014), 275, 375 (both 2015),
   190, 325, 425 (all 2017)

Lavender, 450 (2009), 375 (2012)

Plates, double handgrip

Amethyst, 350, 580 (both 2010), 450 (2011), 245 (2012), 375 (2013),
   425 (2014), 155, 325, 950 (2015), 175 (2016), 700 (2017)

Lavender, 450 (2007), 500 (2009)

Plates, flat

Amethyst, 500 (2012), 550 (2013), 360 (2014), 350, 400 (both 2015),
   375, 500 (both 2017)

Amethyst, with metal lunch bucket, 1,850 (2003)

Don Chamberlain, writing in the March 2011 issue of the ICGA Pump states: The Fern Brand Chocolates of Burlington, Iowa piece is available in handgrip plates, double handgrip plates, and flat plates in amethyst. These were made by the Northwood Company and are fairly available.

They also feature the basketweave back. The front contains the words Fern Brand Chocolates and is the only advertising piece that features a pattern with ferns rather than the usually seen Mums pattern.

Fern Brand Chocolates was founded in 1900 by E. T. Gardner and E. C. Gould. They moved into their new building at the corner of Elm and Third Street. The address was 228 South Third St. They enlarged their building in 1910, and by 1931 they were on the corner with two buildings to the north demolished. They produced a wide variety of candy products. Fern Brand ceased operation in July of 1955, and the business was bought by Fresh Pack Candy of Moline, Illinois, in 1957.

According to the late Ray and Verda Asbury, former Burlington residents, and Fern Brand researchers, the plates were given to merchants as token of appreciation for promoting their chocolates. They were packed in large wooden crates of bulk chocolates. There was one plate included per crate.

Updated 7/23/2017

This unusual wooden bucket was apparently used to ship and store the Fern Brand Chocolates. It sold in 2012 for $105. Photo courtesy of Mickey Reichel.