Inventor Spotlight: Bob Born, the “Father of Peeps”

C4IP is recognizing the late inventor and candy company executive who mechanized the process of making marshmallow chicks and was affectionately known as Father of Peeps.”

Bob Born, American inventor and executive of the Pennsylvania-based Just Born Quality Confections. Bob Born was the son of a Russian immigrant who came to New York in 1909. Born graduated from Lehigh University and then served in the U.S. Navy in World War II as a lieutenant and radar specialist. Later, the Navy sent him to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Arizona to pursue graduate studies in math and physics. After graduating, Born applied to medical school and was accepted — but prior to classes starting, he went to work at Just Born and never looked back.

When Just Born acquired Rodda Candy Company in 1953, Born saw an opportunity to enhance the company’s production of its fluffy marshmallow treat — PEEPS®. With the help of an engineer, Born invented a machine that lowered the time it took to make PEEPS® by almost 27 hours.

Born’s legacy lives on as the company continues to use his machine design to produce over 5 million PEEPS® per day and approximately 2 billion per year. Today, Just Born Quality Confections still owns the PEEPS® trademark and employs over 600 associates in the United States and in Canada — most are based at the company’s headquarters and candy factory in Bethlehem, PA.

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