The Candy Store Historian

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HERB PREMINGER, a courteous, soft-eyed man who lives on East 17th Street in Midwood, Brooklyn, has managed well during his professional life as a marketing writer. But for nearly three decades, his overwhelming passion has been for his work as an amateur historian of the vanished New York candy store.

Mr. Preminger, a 59-year-old former soda jerk who is married to a television executive, has shared his knowledge and presented his collection of candy store memorabilia at churches, synagogues, senior centers and historical societies. The other day, while handling the plastic wristwatches and comic books in his collection, he talked about this small corner of a bygone New York world.

THIRTY years ago I came across a candy store on Avenue U in Marine Park, Brooklyn. I walked in and there was everything from my childhood, just frozen in time. I talked to the owner and he let me rummage through the shelves, through layers and layers of dusty games and coloring books and novelty items from the 40's and 50's. It was so interesting that I began going to other neighborhoods and doing the same thing. I became what I would call a candy store archaeologist.

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