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Archive for March, 2015

HersheyArchives@30-8 DESTINATION: Hershey, PA

Throughout its history, Hershey has been a well-known destination for entertainment.

 

Each summer,crowds of people traveled to Hershey to enjoy its many amenities. 1915

Each summer,crowds of people traveled to Hershey to enjoy its many amenities. 1915

 

After the Hershey Chocolate Factory opened in 1905, the town soon emerged as a popular regional destination. Visitors came to explore the model town and enjoy Hershey Park and its growing number of amenities.

 

In 1914, Hershey’s weekly newspaper, The Hershey Press, announced that a convention hall was going to be erected in Hershey Park. In developing plans for the hall, Milton Hershey was inspired by a well-known assembly hall in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, and sent his builder, James K. Putt, to visit the structure to learn more about it and what might be incorporated in the Hershey building.

 

Convention Hall, longitudinal section.  Architect: C. Emlen Urban. 1/8/1915

Convention Hall, longitudinal section. Architect: C. Emlen Urban. 1/8/1915

 

The new facility was built specifically to attract large events and big crowds to Hershey.  Its first function was the Triennial Convention of the Brethren Church.  Milton Hershey was very interested in hosting this major event and promised the meeting planners that the Convention Hall would be completed in time for their conference scheduled for June 1915.  Construction began in March 1915.

 

Brethren gather to meet in Hershey's Convention Hall. 6/1915

Brethren gather to meet in Hershey’s Convention Hall. 6/1915

Hershey Convention Hall ready for its first meeting.  Note that the ceiling has not yet been plastered.  6/1915

Hershey Convention Hall ready for its first meeting. Note that the ceiling has not yet been plastered. 6/1915

 

The building was dedicated on Memorial Day weekend, May 30, 1915.  Hershey Park opened for the season the following day, Memorial Day (Monday, May 31).  The dedication program included a 40 piece band, the combined church choirs of Hershey, several vocal and instrumental soloists, as well as several speakers.

 

The Convention Hall was not simply a large assembly hall.  Milton Hershey’s plans for the building incorporated many of his goals and vision for his community.  The Hershey Press carried this announcement about the building’s dedication in its June 3, 1915 issue:

 

Dedication

Hershey Convention Hall is dedicated to the service of the people.  May they meet often within its walls and by their proceedings and discussions find wisdom.  May they listen to words that will guide them in the paths of peace and righteousness.  May they hear music that will uplift them.  May they gather the products of their fields and factories and stimulate one another to higher achievements in agriculture, manufacture, commerce and the arts.  May they learn more of the great principles of consolidation and co-operation.  May they be imbued with the spirit of brotherhood, of courtesy and of helpfulness.  May the services on Memorial Day exalting the patriotism of our heroes be a true dedication of this Hall to the welfare of a free people, the cause of liberty, the love of the Flag and the glory of God.

 

The Convention Hall hosted a variety of musical and theatrical performers. ca1915-1920

The Convention Hall hosted a variety of musical and theatrical performers. ca1915-1920

 

True to Milton Hershey’s vision, the 1915 addition of the Convention Hall transformed Hershey, Pennsylvania into a destination capable of hosting large conventions and national performers. The Convention Hall quickly became a popular destination for both nationally celebrated performers and as a meeting venue for large organizations. The building would host a variety of events over its years of service including concerts by New York Metropolitan Opera singers, the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, the Sistine Chapel Choir during its first American tour, and nationally recognized marching bands.

 

#HersheyArchives@30

Hershey Archives@30-7 To Build a Town – Step One: houses

Plan 'A' Trinidad Avenue, ca1903

Plan ‘A’ Trinidad Avenue, ca1903

 

Visitors to Hershey today are often impressed by the community’s well-kept homes with tidy green lawns and sidewalks.  Building attractive and comfortable homes for his workers was part of Milton Hershey’s vision for his model industrial town.

 

Cocoa Avenue, ca1920

Cocoa Avenue, ca1920

 

26 E. Areba Avenue, 1912

26 E. Areba Avenue, 1912

 

Most of Hershey’s residential area is located on the south side of Chocolate Avenue.  The layout for these streets and lots can be seen on this 1903 map.

 

However, when Milton Hershey first started building his model town, the first homes were not built there.

 

Aerial view of Derry Church, looking north.  Note location of Derry Presbyterian Church in right hand corner. ca1924

Aerial view of Derry Church, looking north. Note location of Derry Presbyterian Church in right hand corner. ca1924

 

When Milton Hershey broke ground for his chocolate factory in March 1903, he was building in the midst of farm fields and dairy pasture. He planned to build a town from scratch. Fortunately, the area that Milton Hershey selected to build his chocolate factory and model town was next to the small community of Derry Church.  Though small, Derry Church included a tavern, post office, railroad station, a Presbyterian Church, a grain mill, a few small businesses and a number of houses, all located along Derry Road.

 

Haefner House tavern, Derry Church, PA. ca1910

Haefner House tavern, Derry Church, PA. ca1910

 

Some of Hershey’s first construction workers found lodging in Derry Church and the tavern was a popular destination after work.

 

Map of Milton Hershey's land acquisitions, ca1903. Detail showing Trinidad Avenue

Map of Milton Hershey’s land acquisitions, ca1903. Detail showing Trinidad Avenue

 

Since Hershey, the town, was more of an idea than a reality in 1903, it probably made sense to build new housing for his workers adjacent to the existing town of Derry Church.

 

Topographical map of future Trinidad Avenue housing construction, 7/1903

Topographical map of future Trinidad Avenue housing construction, 7/1903

 

In July 1903, a piece of land located north of the future chocolate factory and adjacent to Derry Church was surveyed. Building lots for new worker homes were located on the rolling terrain. Soon ground was broken for 25 new homes.  Like future residential streets that would be constructed on the south side of Chocolate Avenue, this new residential street was named Trinidad Avenue, in  honor of one of the cacao growing regions in the world.

 

Trinidad Avenue, ca1906

Trinidad Avenue, ca1906

 

These houses were completed by the end of 1904, in time for the start-up of the chocolate factory. The Trinidad houses were built using two different floor plans and featured small front yards and porches.  The repetitive designs of the houses displeased Milton Hershey.  When the next houses were constructed, he made sure that the homes featured more architectural variety.

 

Though Milton Hershey owned other land on the north side of the railroad tracks, these were the only houses that would be built in that location. In 1905, house construction shifted to the south side of Chocolate Avenue as workers began building homes on Caracas, Granada, Cocoa and Chocolate Avenues.

HersheyArchives@30-6 Planning a town

By the late 1890s, Milton Hershey was convinced that his future lay in producing chocolate rather than caramels. In 1900, the same year Hershey introduced Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, he sold his Lancaster Caramel Company to competitors for $1 million to devote all his energies to his quickly expanding chocolate business.

 

Derry Township farm land, ca1900

Derry Township farm land, ca1900

 

By 1902 it was obvious that a new, larger factory was needed to produce milk chocolate.  After inspecting possible sites for his new chocolate factory in New York, New Jersey and Maryland, Hershey was soon convinced that the central Pennsylvania countryside would provide everything he needed for a factory: a plentiful water supply, access to rail lines, fresh milk and industrious workers.

 

Since Hershey planned to build his factory in the middle of farmland, not in a town, it was clear from the start that he would have to provide a place for at least some of his workers, as well as his managerial staff, to live.

 

In 1902, working with a real estate broker, Milton Hershey began acquiring land in Derry Township.

 

 

Map of Milton Hershey's land purchases in Derry Township, ca1903-1904

Map of Milton Hershey’s land purchases in Derry Township, ca1903-1904

 

 

By the time Hershey broke ground for his new chocolate factory in 1903, he had acquired over 1200 acres of land in Derry Township and the surrounding area. Clearly, Milton Hershey had bigger plans than simply building a chocolate factory.

 

The Archives is fortunate to hold this hand-drawn map in its collections.  Individual land purchases are identified by a colored outline. It is apparent that Hershey made several different land acquisitions that were pieced together to form a significant land mass.

 

Superimposed on the map’s outline of land purchases is a pen and ink drawing that reveals the outlines of the future town of Hershey, Pennsylvania.

 

Detail of map of Milton Hershey's land purchases and proposed layout of new community. ca1903

Detail of map of Milton Hershey’s land purchases and proposed layout of new community. ca1903

 

 

A closer look reveals the location of the new chocolate factory, residential streets, a car barn for the new trolley system and trolley tracks, a new schoolhouse and the location for a new building on the north side of the Berks & Dauphin Turnpike. Proposed street names have been recorded in pencil:  Chocolate Avenue for the Turnpike, Cocoa Avenue for a main street coming from the south.  Streets for the residential area will carry names of cocoa growing regions: Ceylon, Caracas, Granada, Trinidad.

 

Milton Hershey’s vision and desire to build a model industrial new town, as revealed with this map, are confirmed with articles that were published locally and in business trade journals.

 

On February 19, 1903, the Harrisburg Independent published an article describing Milton Hershey’s plans:

 

“A New Town Near Derry Church to Cost a Million”

“To Be Built By M.S. Hershey the Chocolate Man”

“Is Leaving His Lancaster Plant and Will Build Up

a Modern Laboring Community

for Benefit of 600 Employees”

 

                A new town which will have a population of 1500 will be built midway between Derry Church and Swatara, this county, along the line of the Philadelphia and Reading railway, by M.S. Hershey, the Lancaster chocolate manufacturer, who has large manufacturing interests in various parts of the State.

                He has already begun work there on the erection of a new factory, which will employ 600 men, to supersede the plant at Lancaster, and his purpose in building the new town is to form a modern dwelling community for his employees and their families.  Mr. Hershey has planned an expenditure of $1,000,000 to further his enterprise.

                                                                . . .

               The town will be laid out along plans of modern manufacturing communities which are now springing up, all over this country, patterned after those in England.  It will contain grass plots for pleasure parks in which there will be fountains and stone walks.  The street will be made of crushed stone taken from the quarries and stone crushing machinery has already been installed. 

 

 

The factory would be completed in 1905 and the town would develop along the lines revealed in the map.

 

HersheyArchives@30-5 Maroon and Silver

The  familiar Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper.

 

The maroon and silver package, sometimes described as brown and silver, is identifiable at a glance. You can imagine the many versions and proofs Milton Hershey must have considered before settling on the now iconic wrapper design; the “face” of his new brand and his new product. Yet the process of designing the wrapper was not so straightforward. Within the Archives’ collections, documentation reveals a particular set of circumstances that transpired as to why maroon and silver came to symbolize the Hershey brand.

 

Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. 1900

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. 1900

 

Milton Hershey, after years of experimentation, began marketing Hershey’s Milk Chocolate in 1900. The bar retailed for $0.05 and was wrapped in a white wrapper with gold lettering.

 

The wrapper featured Hershey’s two trademarks, a cow’s head enclosed in a wreath of wheat and the cocoa bean baby.  The gold lettering was similar to that used on Hershey’s earlier semi-sweet or dark chocolate products.  Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars were immediately successful and distributed nationally, but there was one problem.  The white wrapper had a tendency to become soiled and stained during the summer months as heat influenced the product.

 

Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar wrapper, gold and maroon. Hershey marketed bars in a variety of sizes, including a 8 ounce bar, retailing for 40 cents. 1902

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper, gold and maroon. Hershey marketed bars in a variety of sizes, including a 8 ounce bar, retailing for 40 cents. 1902

 

In 1902, Hershey instructed that a brown wrapper, printed with the same trademarks and lettering, should replace the problematic white wrapper.  According to Milton Hershey, “The brown color of paper was selected by me for its wearing qualities, durability, cleanliness, and not being liable to soil.”[i]

 

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper, designed by Ketterlinus Lithographic Manufacturing Company. 1903

 

 

In 1903, Hershey visited Ketterlinus Lithographic Manufacturing Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and had an additional wrapper designed.

 

Hershey was not the only manufacturer of milk chocolate in the United States.  He was however, the only manufacturer to use fresh milk; other manufacturers used milk powder or condensed milk.  In 1905, the Societe Generale Suisse De Chocolats, manufacturers of Peter’s Chocolate, took notice of Hershey’s activities.

 

Peter's Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. ca1903-1905

Peter’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. ca1903-1905

 

 

Peter’s argued that Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar wrapper was too similar to Peter’s Chocolate and caused consumer confusion and brought suit against Hershey.  A judge agreed with Peter’s and ordered Hershey to discontinue use of the wrapper.

 

Hershey complied with the judge’s order and to differentiate his wrapper from that of Peter’s began using silver lettering in place of the gold.

 

Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. 1906-1911

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. 1906-1911

 

Peter’s continued to protest Hershey’s use of the maroon, or brown, color citing that other manufacturers began to utilize the color as well causing market saturation.[ii]  Milton Hershey was satisfied with the new wrapper design of maroon and silver and was not swayed by Peter’s arguments.

 

In one way, the familiar maroon and silver wrapper is the product of legal action.  Perhaps though, Milton Hershey saw the change as an unexpected improvement. Had he not been satisfied with the new design he would have returned to the Ketterlinus offices.  The experience had an additional positive impact on Milton Hershey.  It introduced him to the value of intellectual property and trademarks in the development and protection of a brand.  Hershey would recall this experience and use the lessons he learned in the future to protect his next product: Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates.

 

[i] Milton Hershey affidavit, 1905.  Accession 200945 Box 1 Folder 42.

[ii] Correspondence, Frederick Duncan to John Snyder, 01/21/1908.  Accession 200945 Box 1 Folder 41.