Haas was born at Leonding near Linz in Austria-Hungary into a rich family, his grandfather being a doctor and his father Eduard Haas II owning a flourishing grocery store. As an adolescent, he patented a light baking powder mixture for Gugelhupf cakes, developed after a recipe left by his grandfather. The small "Hasin" powder bags soon were sold all over the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
In the 1920s, Haas began to purchase peppermint oil from a chemist, and with it, he created in 1927 the small, flat, minty candy known as Pez (the name was coined from "Pfefferminz", the German word for peppermint). Pez gradually gained popularity as an anti-smoking mint; however, Haas decided to broaden the appeal of Pez. After World War II, Haas and colleagues developed small dispensers shaped like lighters; the Pez dispenser debuted in 1947.
In 1952, Haas shifted his base to New York City where he developed a fresh marketing scheme aimed at children. The new Pez featured varying dispensers with popular figures as "flaps" and colored mints. To this day, Pez dispensers are sought out as collectors items.
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