Hershey's Chocolate Tin

Hershey's Chocolate Tin

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Description
This small, red, rectangular tin with multicolored vignette of a man and woman in a gold frame was used to store and market Hershey's chocolate.
Milton Snavely Hershey, the “Henry Ford of chocolate makers,” got an early start in the candy business by apprenticing at a local candy shop in Lancaster, PA. After several rocky starts to open his own business, he finally found success with the Lancaster Caramel Company. In 1893 at the World’s Fair in Chicago, Hershey’s life would take a radical turn. He visited a chocolate making exhibit by J. M. Lehmann, a German company, and was introduced to European chocolate production. At the conclusion of the Exposition, he purchased all of Lehman’s equipment and had it shipped to Lancaster so he could enrobe his caramels in chocolate. By 1900, he had determined his future would be with chocolate and sold his caramel company to a competitor.
When his new factory opened, he launched the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, following up his initial success with the Milk Chocolate Bar with Almonds and the Hershey’s Kiss a few years later. Hershey quickly became the largest chocolate producer in the United States. At the same time he was growing his business, Hershey was also building his model company town, Hershey, PA. He built homes for his employees to purchase, a free school, free public library and many other services which he ran at low costs for his employees. He also established the Hershey Industrial School for Orphan Boys, which later became the Milton Hershey School. Milton Hershey’s goal was to create a model town of Utopian living for his employees and their families.
Chocolate had been known and treasured by Native Americans in Central and South America for thousands of years prior to the arrival of the first Spanish explorers in the late 1400s and early 1500s. Cacao beans were so highly prized by Mayans and Aztecs that they were used as currency in many areas of the Americas. When first taken back to Europe by the Spanish, the chocolate drink continued to be produced exclusively for the enjoyment of royalty or the extremely wealthy. As the cacao bean gradually made its presence known throughout Europe, it still remained trapped in this exclusive section of society well into the 19th century.
The chocolate trade to North America began more than 300 years ago, primarily centered in or near major port cities of the time, such as New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Newport, RI. Due to lower transportation costs, chocolate was often less expensive in the Americas than in Europe and therefore had a broader consumer base. The Industrial Revolution radically changed chocolate production and helped propel it into the hearts and stomachs of the working class. Instead of being a labor intensive product, it became entirely machine made reducing costs even further in the late 19th and early 20th century. During this time, chocolate went from being something a person drank to being something to eat, finally becoming a treat for the masses.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
container
container, food
maker
Hershey Company
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Hershey
Physical Description
tin (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 3 in x 2 in; 7.62 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
ZZ.RSN80525Z45
See more items in
Work and Industry: Production and Manufacturing
Food
Advertising
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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