Lillian Freehof’s 1954 book, The Carrot Candle, tells the story of a rabbit that thinks a bunch of orange Hanukkah candles are carrots. Orange Hanukkah candles were produced into the 1950s; and a box in our collection made by Socony-Vacuum Oil Company is a reminder of that tradition. The company became Socony Mobil Oil Company in 1955, so the candles must have been made before that date. By the late 1950s, however, boxed Hanukkah candles were produced in now-familiar pink, blue, yellow and white tones. Many children reading Freehof’s book in the late 50s and early 60s, when multi-colored candles became common, must have wondered how that rabbit could have mistaken candles for carrots!

Lillian Freehof, The Carrot Candle, 1954, The Jean Sorkin Moldovan Collection Company, before 1955
Gift of the Jesselson Family

Box of Hanukkah candles, Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, N.Y., before 1955