Artifact of the Month


Santa Claus Candy Container
Donated by Robert Winn

This pressed cardboard Santa Claus has an opening in the sack on his back just the right size for holding holiday goodies. Candy containers like this were commonly sold during the mid-1900s; Easter bunnies and Jack O'Lanterns also lined store shelves at the appropriate time of the year.

In our case, Santa came from Rogers (Benton County), where the donor, Robert Winn, lived while he was teaching school in the nearby community of Brightwater. There's a good chance that Winn bought his Santa at the Rogers Wholesale Grocery Company, which was managed by Z. L. Reagan. Reagan's daughters, Betty Lynn, Mary Sue, and Agnes Lytton, all remember a Christmas "around 1929" when their Papa gave each of them a cardboard Santa just like the one pictured here. In 2005, the Reagan sisters still had two of the three Santas ("We think a mouse got the other one!" said Mary Sue).

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