In his delightfully eccentric book Gus Pulakos sets out to write a history of confectionery, but he throws in so much other material that it ends up as a wild confection in itself. At the time he wrote it, Gus was running Pulakos 926 Chocolates. A still-thriving company, it was founded in 1903 by Gus's father George, from whom Gus presumably inherited his enthusiasm for chocolate. His promotional drive is also memorialised in the Gus Pulakos Candy School.
Gus must have been getting on in years, and it would seem that he wanted his book to be a record of his achievements in life as well as an authoritative source of information about sweets through the ages. That would explain why he includes, for example, press cuttings, copies of numerous letters - largely from various notables thanking him for gifts of an edible nature - and, not least, many photographs of his creations in chocolate. It is these poorly printed and often blurry photographs that make his book something special: mainly of seasonal window decorations from the company shop, they are sometimes astonishing, often kitsch, but altogether remarkable.
Scribbled by Alfred Armstrong 13 years 6 months ago