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Archive for November, 2012

Serving Our Country: Hotel Hershey During World War II

 While many  are familiar with Hershey Chocolate Corporation’s contributions to the war effort manufacturing millions of Ration ‘D’ survival ration bars, Hershey also played an important, though little known, service to our country during the war. During the war years, Hotel Hershey served as an internment camp for the Vichy French diplomatic corps stationed in the United States.  

 

Germany invaded and defeated France in the spring of 1940.  A large portion of southwestern France was left unoccupied by the conquering army.  A new French government,  sympathetic to the Nazi regime, was established in the town of Vichy. As part of political protocol, the Vichy government sent Gaston Henri Haye to Washington, D.C. to serve as the French ambassador to the United States.

 

News of the Vichy French ambassador and his staff's arrest appeared in newspapers across the country. Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, 11/?/1942

News of the Vichy French ambassador and his staff's arrest appeared in newspapers across the country. Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, 11/?/1942

By late 1942, the United States had lost patience with the pro Hitler French government.  In September 1942 the State Department discovered that the French Embassy in Washington D.C. had sent a letter to the Vichy Government concerning United States war production.  On November 7 the United States launched its invasion of French North Africa, “Operation Torch.”  On November 11, the Germans, fearing they would be outflanked in the south and not trusting Vichy, occupied the remaining portion of France.  The United States still had relations with Vichy, and now American diplomatic personnel were behind German enemy lines.  The American diplomats were moved an internment camp at Lourdes.

 

Hotel Hershey and grounds.  ca.1935-1940

Hotel Hershey and grounds. ca.1935-1940

 

The State Department responded by deciding the Henry Haye and his staff would soon leave the French embassy in Washington.  They began looking for a place to put them.  Newspapers across the country published stories of the arrest of the pro-Nazi ambassador and his staff.  Page 17 of the November 14, 1942 New York Times featured a large aerial photograph of the Hotel Hershey.  “Where French Diplomats Will Be Housed” read the caption.
 

The NYTimes article continued, “Negotiations are under way here between the Federal Government and the Hershey Estates over the housing of 300 representatives of the Vichy government  at the hotel Hershey.  Discussions have been going on since Wednesday, but no arrangements had been completed,” the paper noted.  The State Department planned to place the Vichy Government staff in custody until arrangements could be made for their repatriation and subsequent exchange for the American diplomats being detained by France.

 

 

Joseph Gassler, General Manager of the Hotel Hershey, 1933-1959

Joseph Gassler, General Manager of the Hotel Hershey, 1933-1959

 

 

While the New York Times believed that arrangements were still being made, in reality, Joseph Gassler, General Manager for the Hotel, had already sent a letter to Cordell Hull, Secretary of State on November 12, 1942, offering the Hotel’s services.

I have the honor to advise you that Hotel Hershey has placed its facilities at your service…I shall be very happy to have these people as our guests and assure you, my dear Secretary, that we will do our utmost, in every respect, to give the high standard of service which the famous Hotel Hershey knows how to give.

Mr. Gassler’s letter also included details about the specific conditions of the arrangements.  Tariff for adults was set at $7.50/day per person, children (0-12 years old) $4.00 per person, and guards, $4.00 per person.  Incidental expenses incurred were to be billed to the State Department at cost, and gratuities were also to be paid by State Department funding.

 

The Hotel was chosen to sequester the Vichy French government representatives for several reasons.  Hershey Estates was cooperative, the quality of accommodations was quite high and the possibly most importantly, the Hotel was in a secluded and defensible location.

 

Want to learn more?  Visit the Archives website to learn more about Hershey’s contributions to the United States war effort.

It’s the Cocoa Bean, Baby

Before the Hershey Kisses plume was used, a small square of printed tissue was include with every foil wrapped Hershey's Kiss.  1907-1921

Before the Hershey Kisses plume was introduced, a small square of printed tissue was included with every foil wrapped Hershey's Kiss. 1907-1921

 

Like most major corporations, The Hershey Company trademark logo has changed over time.  Changes are made to better communicate the core mission of the company.  Most companies seek to create something that will serve as a visual symbol of the business, an image that will be recognizable without words.

 

Early Hershey Chocolate Company product packaging often featured the company's first trademark, an intertwined H-C-Co.

Early Hershey Chocolate Company product packaging often featured the company's first trademark, an intertwined H-C-Co.

 

Shortly after Milton Hershey started his chocolate company he began searching for a trademark design that would reflect the promise of his new business. The first logo that he used was an intertwined  ‘H’, ‘C’, and ‘Co.’   Unfortunately, this monogram wasn’t very distinctive and it  was soon replaced by a design that would represent the Hershey Chocolate Corporation for 78 years.

 

Advertisement, Hershey Press, 5/25/1911

Advertisement, Hershey Press, 5/25/1911

The Cocoa Bean Baby company trademark was introduced on August 1, 1898. The design reflected the newness and promise of the young company.  The cocoa bean design reminded people that all the products produced by Hershey came from one main ingredient.  The trademark was officially registered on June 26, 1906, for “chocolate, cocoa, sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate coatings, chocolate liquors, and chocolate powder.”  The trademark application stated the design featured “the representation of a portion of a vine bearing a broken cocoa bean, with the head, arms and shoulders of an infant projecting therefrom holding a cup in one hand.”

 

Until 1910, the cocoa bean baby held a chocolate bar when featured on Hershey's confectionery products.

Until 1910, the cocoa bean baby held a chocolate bar when featured on Hershey's confectionery products.

Until about 1910, two versions of the Cocoa Bean Baby were used concurrently.  Confectionery bar products featured a Baby holding a bar of chocolate.  Cocoa and baking products products showed the baby holding a cup of cocoa.  The Baby holding a bar was phased out after 1910.
Want to know more?  Check out the Archives’ website to learn more about how the cocoa bean baby has been used.