PAAS Egg Dye

by Charles McGrath

I was waiting in the express line of the supermarket today when I saw something very familiar. It was a small yellow box with the name PAAS on it. This was a product that I knew very well at Easter time. Both when I was a little boy and later when my children were young.

This is the oldest company that makes egg dye for Easter. This was a product that was developed in Newark in circa 1880. A "Down Neck" druggist by the name of William Townley's made it and sold it as Easter Egg Dye. He sold it in little packets of egg dye to the local German housewives.

William Townley's Easter egg dye was later renamed Paas egg dye. He chose the name Paas for the dye after the word Passen, which is a Pennsylvania Dutch word for Easter.

Over the years the company grew and to my knowledge they had the only product on the market to color eggs. For years they were located on the southeast corner of Shipman and William Streets. I think it was in the late 1960's that they moved. I was told they went down south.

They were eventually bought by Schering Plough and later by Signature Brands.

When I picked up the small yellow box I anxious to see where it was made.

Much to my surprise it wasn't made in China but rather Ocala, FL.

That's a long way from" Down Neck" but it's still ours.

Happy Easter!


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