"Salt water taffy is a kind of taffy originally produced and marketed in the Atlantic City, New Jersey area beginning in the late 19th century.
The origins of the name are unknown. It could be because the recipe for the candy contains both salt and water. The most popular story, although probably apocryphal, concerns a candy-store owner, Mr. David Bradley, whose shop was flooded during a major storm in 1883. His entire stock of taffy was soaked with salty Atlantic Ocean water. When a young girl asked if he had any taffy for sale, he is said to have offered some "salt water taffy." The girl was delighted, she bought the candy and proudly walked down to the beach to show her friends. Mr. Bradley's mother was in the back and heard the exchange. She loved the name and so Salt Water Taffy was born.
Whatever the origins, Joseph Fralinger popularized the candy by boxing it and selling it as an Atlantic City souvenir. His company is still one of the largest retailers of salt water taffy."