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Fascinating facts about Milton S. Hershey
 inventor of the Hershey milk chocolate bar in 1900.

Milton S. Hershey
AT A GLANCE:
Ever since Milton Hershey introduced the Hershey milk chocolate bar to the world in 1900, he never looked back. T
he company, products, town and institutions that bear his name were well positioned to continue and grow. The Hershey Chocolate Corporation has evolved into Hershey Foods Corporation, a profitable company encompassing a range of products found in homes throughout the world.
THE STORY
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Inventor: Milton Snavely Hershey
Milton Hershey photo courtesy www.hersheys.com
Criteria: First practical. Entrepreneur.
Birth: September 13, 1857 at Derry Church, Pennsylvania
Death: 1945 at Hershey, Pennsylvania
Nationality: American
Invention: Hershey bar in 1900
Hershey chocolate image courtesy www.hersheys.com
Function: noun / chocolate bar named by its inventor
Definition: A bar of milk chocolate made by the Hershey Chocolate Company.
Trademark: # 0054041 (US) registered June 19, 1906
Milestones:
1876 starts a candy business in Philadelphia, PA business fails after six years
1882 Hershey moves to Denver to learn the Caramel making business
1882 starts a candy business New York City, NY this business also fails
1890 starts a caramel business in Lancaster, PA, business is not only good, its great
1893 visits World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and learns about chocolate machinery
1894 aware of the growing demand for chocolate, he started the Hershey Chocolate Company.
1900 sells his caramel company for $1 million,  and devotes his attention to making chocolate.
1900 finds the right formula of milk, sugar and cocoa that enabled him to introduce the Hershery bar
1903 moves company to his birth town Derry Church, Pennsylvania and builds his new factory
1906 the community he had established for the workers was renamed Hershey, Pennsylvania.
1909 founded the Hershey Industrial School, a school for orphan boys.
1918 transferred ownership in the Hershey Chocolate Company to the Hershey Trust
2004 Milton Hershey's mansion serves as the headquarters for Hershey Foods Corporation.
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The Story:
Raised in rural central Pennsylvania, hampered by the lack of a formal education and nearly bankrupt by the time he was 30, Milton S. Hershey went on to become not only one of America’s wealthiest individuals, but also a successful entrepreneur whose products are known the world over, a visionary builder of the town which bears his name and a philanthropist whose open-hearted generosity continues to touch the lives of thousands.

Following a four-year apprenticeship as a teenager to a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, candy maker, Hershey in 1876 attempted to start his own candy business in Philadelphia. Despite six years of hard work, it failed. So he moved to Denver and found work with a confectioner who taught him how to make caramels using fresh milk. He then started up a second candy business in New York City. It also failed.

Undaunted, Hershey returned to Lancaster and once again tried making a go of the caramel business. This time, it worked. Soon, his Lancaster Caramel Company was shipping all over the U.S. and Europe, employing 1400 people and turning him into one of the area’s leading citizens.

It was at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago that Hershey first became fascinated with the art of chocolate making. While there, he purchased some German machinery, had it shipped to Lancaster and began producing chocolate coatings for his caramels. But aware of the growing demand for chocolate itself, he soon started the Hershey Chocolate Company.

For years, he worked at perfecting a viable recipe for making milk chocolate -- a process which up to then had been kept a closely guarded secret by the Swiss. Finally, through trial and error, he hit upon the right formula of milk, sugar and cocoa that enabled him to realize his dream of mass producing and distributing milk chocolate candy. What had once been a luxury for the rich, was to become an enjoyment that anyone could afford...the Hershey bar.

With his Hershey Chocolate Company growing by leaps and bounds, Hershey decided to sell his caramel company (for $1 million, an enormous sum in 1900!) and devote his attention to making chocolate.

Discovering a need to expand his production capacity, he began looking around for a suitable place to build a new factory. He found it in nearby Derry Township, where he had been born. Convenient to the port cities that could provide cocoa beans and sugar, surrounded by dairy farms and endowed with a hardworking populace, the area seemed ideal. In 1903, he broke ground.

Hershey’s success was not simply a matter of luck. Having learned from his past failures, he had become a shrewd and astute businessman. He believed, along with the more forward-thinking industrialists of the age, that workers who were treated fairly and who lived in a comfortable, pleasant environment would be better workers.

Accordingly, he set upon building an infrastructure to take care of the people who were employed by his company. He had plans drawn up for a model community that included housing for executives and ordinary workers alike, schools, churches, parks, recreational facilities and a trolley system. Unlike other “company towns,” Hershey’s was not intended to exploit its resident workers, but rather to provide for their welfare. In 1906 the community he had established for the workers in his new factory was renamed Hershey. As time went on, Hershey saw to it that the town added a community building, a department store, a convention hall, an amusement park, a swimming pool, and schools. Lots of schools.

For the farm boy who never had much chance at education himself, providing that opportunity for others was always an important priority. As early as 1909, Hershey and his wife Catherine established the Hershey Industrial School, a school for orphan boys. Today named the Milton Hershey School, it has since opened its doors to girls as well.

He also made sure that the town of Hershey had the finest elementary and secondary schools possible. There were even plans for a junior college. In 1918 and with no fanfare, Hershey transferred the bulk of his considerable wealth, including his ownership in the Hershey Chocolate Company and other enterprises, to the Hershey Trust to be held for the Hershey Industrial School.

With the death of Milton Hershey in 1945, the company, town and institutions that bear his name were well positioned to continue and grow. The Hershey Chocolate Corporation has evolved into Hershey Foods Corporation, a profitable company encompassing a range of products found in homes throughout the world.

The town of Hershey, with its many attractions, has become a popular destination for both vacationing tourists and business conventioneers. The Milton Hershey School, along with Hershey’s other philanthropic endeavors, have expanded and prospered, with the school housing and educating hundreds of boys and girls. In a long and useful life, Milton S. Hershey proved himself to be a courageous entrepreneur, a determined builder and a compassionate humanitarian.

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
The Entrepreneur    from The Great Idea Finder
The Philanthropist   from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of the Hershey Bar  from The Great Idea Finder
History of Food and Snacks   from The Great Idea Finder

ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Milton S. Hershey (Limited availability)
by Katherine Binney Shippen, Paul A. W. Wallace / Paper - 40 pages / Random house (1959)
This book is dedicated to the thousands of boys and now girls whom Milton Hershey gave a fuller, happier life.

The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars
by Joël Glenn Brenner / Paperback: 384 pages / Broadway; 1st Broadw edition (January 4, 2000)
The chocolate wars between industry giants Hershey and Mars are anything but sweet. In The Emperors of Chocolate, Joel Glenn Brenner reveals the bitter legal and marketing fights, palace intrigue, and personality clashes that dominate Hershey and Mars--and the candy industry as a whole.
Chocolate by Hershey: A Story About Milton S. Hershey
by Betty Burford, Loren Chantland / Paperback: 64 pages / Carolrhoda Books (November 1, 1994)
This biography is a well-rounded presentation that shows the successes and difficulties of this entrepreneur's life. The black-and-white somewhat grainy illustrations are reminiscent of photographs of the period. Average fare about the life of a highly creative man.
Hershey: Ideal Community for Orphans
by John F. Halbleib / Paperback: 356 pages / Authorhouse (April 30, 2005)
A biography of the successful chocolate maker who built a town around his factory with unique housing for his workers and a school for disadvantaged students.
Hershey
by Mary Davidoff Houts, Pamela Whitenack / Paperback: 128 pages / Arcadia Publishing (2000)
Milton S. Hershey proved himself to be a courageous entrepreneur, a determined builder and a compassionate humanitarian.

ON THE SCREEN:
Milton Hershey: The Chocolate King
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / Biography / 71432 / Less than $25.00
Milton Hershey was born in a Pennsylvania farmhouse and completed only the fourth grade before he was put to work as a printer's apprentice. But by the age of 18, Milton had discovered his unique calling: He would manufacture delicious, affordable confections.


ON THE WEB:

Milton S. Hershey: The Man & His Legacy
With the death of Milton Hershey in 1945, the company, town and institutions that bear his name were well positioned to continue and grow.
(URL: www.hersheys.com/discover/milton/milton.asp)
Life of Milton S. Hershey
His deeds are his monument. His life is our inspiration. From Hershey, PA Web site, the sweetest place on earth.
(URL: www.hersheypa.com/town_of_hershey/history/)
The Hershey Company
A leading snack food company and the largest North American manufacturer of quality chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products, with revenues of over $4 billion and more than 13,000 employees worldwide.
(URL: www.thehersheycompany.com/)
Milton S. Hershey School
Founded in 1909 by chocolate industrialist Milton S. Hershey and his wife Catherine, Milton Hershey School offers a residential experience (pre-K through 12) in a wholesome environment, provides a quality education, and a wealth of enriching and exciting opportunities that lead to the social, physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development of a child.
(URL: www.mhs-pa.org)/
The Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Milton Hershey’s generosity continued on even after his death. In 1963, the Milton Hershey School Trust contributed $50 million and land to the Pennsylvania State University for the establishment of a medical center.
(URL: www.hersheys.com/discover/milton/medical_center.asp)
Hershey Park
A visit to the Park and Hershey's Chocolate World is the most fun a person could ask for. Located in Hershey, PA " the sweetest place on earth".
(URL: www.hersheypa.com/attractions/hersheypark/index.asp)
Visit Hershey
Today, Milton Hershey's mansion serves as the headquarters for Hershey Foods Corporation. And Hershey is still the home of the world's largest chocolate and cocoa manufacturing plant.
(URL: www.visithhc.com/miltonsh.html)

WORDS OF WISDOM:
"Caramels are only a fad. Chocolate is a permanent thing." - Milton Snavely Hershey

DID YOU KNOW?:

  • Frequent family moves interrupted Milton Hershey's schooling and left him with a limited education. He only completed the fourth grade.
  • Today, Milton Hershey's mansion serves as the headquarters for Hershey Foods Corporation.
  • Hershey, PA is the home of the world's largest chocolate and cocoa manufacturing plant.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type. This page revised September 28, 2006.
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