The true origin of the jelly baby is unknown, but a particular story persists: in 1864, an Austrian confectioner working for Fryers of Lancashire - in their factory in Nelson - was asked to make a mould for jelly bears. The resulting sweets, though, looked rather more like babies.
And so is that how 'jelly babies' were born? Well, not quite. At first they went by a much more sinister name: Unclaimed Babies.
Author Tim Richardson has given an explanation for the strange name in his book Sweet: A History Of Temptation:
"Unclaimed babies were a part of life back then - people would leave them on church steps - and it's possible that people even found the name amusing."
Glyn Hughes, editor of The Foods of England website, points to evidence that corroborates the story:
"Unclaimed Babies seem to be well known and associated with the Burnley area, so probably made by Thomas Fyer's of Nelson."
By the time Bassett's of Sheffield started to produce the sweet in 1918 they were widely known as Jelly Babies. And now, of course, they're one of the most popular and enduring sweets around, beloved by marathon runners and perfect for long car journeys.
There's a story behind the name 'Reeds Rains' too
In 1982 the two businesses merged and the new name was decided by the flip of a coin. So it is only by chance that we are known as Reeds Rains, rather than Rains Reeds.