‘Sweethearts’ Candies Started Out as Lozenges. The iconic chalky heart-shaped candies that have been passed out lovingly every Valentine’s Day started out as lozenges. According to the Food Business News, pharmacist and inventor Oliver Chase created a machine that would quickly create the lozenges before switching to using the machine to create candy—later known as Necco Wafers. Chase’s brother came up with the idea to print messages on the candy in 1866, and the candies got their heart shape in 1901, appealing specifically to Valentine’s Day sweethearts. In 2019, the Sweetheart brand of conversation hearts was suspended for a year as the candy’s new owner, Spangler Candy Co., needed time to make a supply of the hearts for Valentine’s.