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/purple, 180, 225, 325, 575 (all 2020), 240, 300, 325 (all 2021)

Lavender, 450 (2009), 375 (2012)

Plates, double handgrip

Amethyst, 250, 275, 300, 350 (all 2021), 200. 260, 275 (all 2022)

Lavender, 450 (2007), 500 (2009)

Plates, flat

Amethyst, 350, 475, 625 (all 2021), 140, 225, 300, 350 (all 2022)

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

John D. Resnik, in his 1989 book "The Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass Lettered Pieces," notes the following about Fern Brand Chocolates:

"More information has been disseminated about this piece than any other single piece of advertising. This due primarily to the efforts of Ray and Verda Asbury of Burlington, Iowa, the home of Fern Brands. Although I have performed my own research, I can do little more than regurgitate that which has already been said. Gardner & Gould was the parent company of Fern Brand Chocolates. Established in June, 1900 at the corner of Elm and Third Streets, The company produced a wide range of confectionery products, until their demise in July of 1955. The original Building now houses a tent and awning company.

Never having been one to become enraptured over subtle nuances in carnival glass patterns, I still feel it worthwhile to mention the uniqueness of the Fern Brand mold. Not only is the fern motif a one of a kind, but the floral arrangement is also different than on any other piece.

Addendum: After two years of chasing a reported Fern Brand bowl, which turned out to be a deep plate, I have concluded that no bowls exist in this pattern.

Although I own examples of other media advertisements for several companies, Fern Brand appears to the all time leader. I possess a wooden shipping carton plus several individual cardboard boxes bearing their advertisements."

Updated 12/1/2022

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

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."