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Archive for April, 2010

“That’s a good bar.”

In-store advertisement, ca. 1930

In-store advertisement, ca. 1930






In the 1920s Hershey Chocolate Company wanted to expand its product line and began experimenting with formulas for another nut bar. Samuel Hinkle, who began his career as a plant chemist in November 1924, spearheaded the company’s efforts. He shared vivid memories of developing the formula for Mr. Goodbar in 1925 in his 1975 oral history interview:

“We’d been experimenting with a peanut bar, peanuts being a popular product with the American people,” said Hinkle. “We decided we’d better use Spanish peanuts rather than Virginia peanuts. We came up with this Spanish peanut, a small round peanut, and we left the little red shell on the outside. We called it roasted, but we really were frying the peanuts in fat and combining them with our milk chocolate. We began to think about a name. Actually, it was Mr. Hershey who really came up with the name. Someone said, ‘That’s a good bar.’ And his (Mr. Hershey’s) hearing being a little bad, he thought they said, Mr. Goodbar. So he named it Mr. Goodbar.”

Mr. Goodbar is one of the Chocolate Company’s most enduring products. During the 1930s Depression Era, it was marketed as a “Tasty Lunch” because the peanuts gave it added nutritional value. During these years the bars sold 2 for a 5 cents. In the 1950s and 1960s the bars carried the slogan, “Quick Energy in Every Bar!”

Providing for the town’s financial needs: Hershey Trust Company

Hershey Trust Company, first office; Cocoa House, ca. 1905
Hershey Trust Company, first office; Cocoa House, ca. 1905


April 1905: Construction for the new chocolate factory had been completed during the winter and the factory was gearing up for full production. Construction of the Cocoa House had recently been completed. It provided housing and meals for single men as well as office space for a variety of businesses needed by the new town. First and foremost Milton Hershey needed a bank to handle the varied finances of the new community. Earlier in the year he had applied to the state for permission to establish a trust company that would serve as the community’s bank. A state charter was granted on April 27, 1905 and Hershey Trust Company opened for business on June 15, 1905 in offices located in the Cocoa House. A published brochure advertised a wide scope of banking services. In addition to handling the Hershey business payrolls, the Trust Company offered savings accounts, mortgages, and commercial and personal loans.

The decision to establish a trust company rather than a bank was made after Milton Hershey sought advice from the Northern National Bank of Lancaster, PA. In his reply, E.J. Ryder, the Northern National cashier, suggested that in addition to taking mortgages, a trust company would have the added advantage of doing fiduciary business.

Still, in 1905 Milton Hershey’s town was more of an idea than an actuality. Though the chocolate factory began full operations that summer, little else was operating in town. Another year would pass before the community was officially named, when the United States Postmaster granted Milton Hershey permission to establish a new post office.

Hershey Trust Company quickly became the town’s financial center, playing an important role in financing Milton Hershey’s construction and development plans. It was instrumental in the growth and development of the town, advertising mortgages in ads that encouraged people to build a home in the new community. The Trust Company advertised frequently in the local papers, encouraging residents to start savings accounts and to plan for the future. To broaden its accessibility, special deposit stations were established on Hershey trolleys. Specialized savings accounts, such as Christmas Savings Clubs, were clever gimmicks promoted by the Trust Company to encourage new account business. Bank accounts were also promoted as a means to future retirement security.



Hershey Trust Company advertisement, published in Hershey's Progressive Weekly, October 17, 1912

Hershey Trust Company advertisement, published in Hershey's Progressive Weekly, 7/10/1913



 Hershey Trust Company continued to serve as the community’s bank for the next two decades. However, in 1918, the Trust Company took on a new responsibility when Milton Hershey transferred his ownership of the Hershey Chocolate Company, then valued at $60 million, to the Hershey Industrial School Trust fund (today Milton Hershey School).

With Milton Hershey’s gift, the Trust Company needed to direct more of its efforts toward the management of the School Trust’s assets. In particular, the Trust Company assumed responsibility for Milton Hershey’s land assets, by then more than 10,000 acres of land in and around Hershey as well as his other financial investments. As the Trust Company assumed these new responsibilities, it became apparent that the town needed a new financial institution to provide the more traditional banking services for the community. To free the Trust Company for its duties as Trustee of the School Trust, the Hershey National Bank, a nationally chartered institution, was established in 1925 to handle the town’s commercial banking needs.

Serving the Country: Hershey Chocolate’s contributions to WWII

Army-Navy 'E' Award Ceremony; l-r: Sam Hinkle, Major-General EDmnd B. Gregory, Milton Hershey, J.J. Gallagher, William Murrie and Ezra Hershey.  8/27/1942

Army-Navy 'E' Award Ceremony; l-r: Sam Hinkle, Major-General EDmnd B. Gregory, Milton Hershey, J.J. Gallagher, William Murrie and Ezra Hershey. 8/27/1942

Hershey Chocolate products played a critical role supplying the military during World War II. Before the war Hershey Chocolate Corporation had worked with the United States Army Quartermaster Corps to develop the formula for a survival ration bar, labeled the Ration ‘D’ bar. After the United States entered the war, Hershey Chocolate Corporation produced millions of the ration bars for the military.

In recognition of its outstanding efforts, Hershey Chocolate Corporation received the Army-Navy ‘E’ Production Award at a special ceremony held August 22, 1942. Quartermaster General, Major General Gregory, came to Hershey to present the corporation and Milton Hershey with the award of achievement. At the Award ceremony, Major General Edmond B.Gregory noted the company’s achievements stating, “The men and women of Hershey Chocolate Corporation have every reason to be proud of their great work in backing up our soldiers on the fighting fronts.”

Samuel Hinkle, then Hershey Chocolate chief chemist, remembered that Mr. Hershey was overjoyed at the accomplishment itself and at the fine relationship it betokened between management and employees. In the pictures of that event which have been preserved, it is easy to see the pleasure which he carries on his face.

The Corporation received a flag to fly above the chocolate plant and a lapel pin for every employee.By the end of the war in 1945 Hershey Chocolate Corporation would receive a total of five Army-Navy ‘E’ awards.

In addition to the Ration ‘D’ bar, Hershey products were part of seven ration packs. Hershey Chocolate also developed a confectionery product, the Tropical bar, that didn’t melt in high temperatures and therefore could be sent to tropical areas of the world. In 1944 Hershey produced a pamphlet outlining the many ways and many products in use by the military.

Hershey Chocolate Corporation pamphlet, ""Hershey's Products at War;"  inside fold.  1944

Hershey Chocolate Corporation pamphlet, ""Hershey's Products at War;" inside fold. 1944


Hershey Chocolate Corporation pamphlet, ""Hershey's Products at War;"  inside view.  1944

Hershey Chocolate Corporation pamphlet, ""Hershey's Products at War;" inside view. 1944

The following text comes from that pamphlet:

Hershey’s Products at War

U.S. ARMY FIELD RATION D-is a highly concentrated food intended for emergency use only. One ration consists of three chocolate bars for carrying in the soldiers’ pockets. Hershey was the first to product this ration. A similar product is supplied to the Marine Corps.U.S. ARMY FIELD RATION K-provides balanced meals in individual packaged and contains a chocolate bar as the dessert component.
10 IN 1 RATION-supplied sufficient food for ten soldiers and withstands all climatic conditions. Chocolate bars of the Ration D type are included.
HERSHEY’S TROPICAL CHOCOLATE-is a new creation in bar form, designed to withstand the effects of extreme heat. High in food energy value, this item is being produced in response to the requests of our boys for the kind of chocolate they knew at home. Our entire output is scheduled for shipment overseas through the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Red Cross.
U.S. ARMY FIELD RATION C-is packed in a tin can. One item of the contents is Cocoa Beverage Powder, a great favorite with out fighting forces.
AIRCRAFT SNACK RATION-provides extra energy on long flying missions. Chocolate was an obvious choice among the items under consideration.

U.S. NAVY LIFE RAFT EMERGENCY RATION-was developed to sustain life in case of shipwreck. The Ration D type of chocolate, with its high powered food energy value, is well adapted for this vital use.

EMERGENCY ACCESSORY KIT-is prepared for front line use. Among other items, chocolate bars are packed in each kit.

PRISONER OF WAR PACKAGE-a gift of the American Red Cross, is regularly supplied to those of our fighting forces who have fallen into enemy hands. Special chocolate bars are included in this package.

HERSHEY’S BREAKFAST COCOA-is widely used by all branches of the service. Its popularity as a beverage is constantly increasing.

HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE FLAVORED SYRUP-long a favorite in the Ships Service Stores of the Navy, is also supplied for Army and Navy messes and Post Exchanges.

HERSHEY’S MILK CHOCOLATE, ALMOND MILK CHOCOLATE AND BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE BARS-familiar to everyone in time of peace, are in even greater demand in wartime.








Playing to win: the Hershey Open Golf Tournament

Hershey Country Club, 18th hole (formerly High Point Mansion), 1933
Hershey Country Club, 18th hole (formerly High Point Mansion), 1933



Hershey Country Club was formally established when Milton Hershey hosted a dinner party at his home, High Point, for one hundred of his friends on April 27, 1930. Preceding dinner, Mr. Hershey announced he was donating his home to the new Hershey Country Club for use as a Clubhouse. He went on to explain that the Club was to be established for the recreation and enjoyment of his friends, Hershey employees, as well as residents of the Hershey community. At this point, Milton Hershey asked his guests to lift their plates. Underneath each plate was a Hershey Country Club Charter Membership card for each guest.


In 1933 the Professional Golfers Association urged the Hershey Country Club to put on a tournament. Hershey Country Club accepted the idea and established an invitational Hershey Open Golf Tournament. First held in1933, the purse of $5000 rivaled that of the U.S. Open and attracted some of the game’s best players.


The Tournament was held for several years. The winners were:


1933     Ed Dudley

1934     Ky Laffoon (French Indian golf star of Denver)

1935     Ted Luther

1936     Henry Picard

1937     Henry Picard


In 1938 the format was changed to a Round Robin Four-Ball Invitational. That year the team of Ben Hogan and Vic Ghezzi took first place. The tournament returned to its traditional format the following year and was won by Felix Serafin.


PGA Tournament,  Bryon Nelson tees off while Sam Snead looks on from the sidelines.  1940

PGA U.S. Open Tournament, 1940 Byron Nelson tees off while competitor Sam Snead looks on from the sidelines.


The Hershey Open was not held in 1940. In its place, Hershey Country Club hosted the PGA U.S. Open.. In that tournament Byron Nelson edged Sam Snead 1-up to win the PGA Championship. The ninth and last Hershey Open Golf Tournament was held August 28-31, 1941.



Hershey Open Golf Tournament, 1941

Welcoming Spring in Hershey: Easter Flower Shows

Hershey's first conservatory, ca. 1910
Hershey’s first conservatory, ca. 1910
Greenhouse at High Point Mansion, ca. 1909-1918
Greenhouse at High Point Mansion, ca. 1909-1918



One of the highlights of Hershey’s Easter season were the flower displays presented each spring in conjunction with Easter. First presented in Milton Hershey’s private greenhouse in 1909, the displays grew more elaborate each year and expanded as new conservatories were built.

The conservatories were open year round and were a popular destination in the winter months. The Hershey Press provided detailed reports of the flora displayed in the greenhouses. During the colder months the greenhouses were filled with the many palms, rubber trees, ferns and that were placed throughout Hershey during the warm months. In addition the greenhouses were used to propagate bedding plants such as coleus, geraniums, and begonias that would be planted throughout the community in its many flower beds.

The Easter displays quickly became an annual tradition in Hershey. The event, initially held on Easter afternoon and later expanding the the entire week before Easter, drew thousands of people to see elaborate displays of blooming Spring blooms and other flowers.

The fifth annual Easter Flower Show was held in 1913, the town’s 10th anniversary. Both conservatories were opened for visitors on Easter Day from noon to 6 p.m. The flower variety was impressive, including Chinese baby primroses, California poppies, red aftrican daisies, lilies and cyclamens as well as hundreds of tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils. In addition the the elaborate floral exhibits, guests were treated to the fun of seeing tropical birds, fish and even the zoo’s alligators who were housed in one of the conservatories.



Hershey Zoo conservatory (now part of ZooAmerica Desert animal exhibit), ca. 1916

The show was enlarged in 1914 with the addition of a new conservatory located in the Hershey Zoo. The lower level of this conservatory served as winter quarters for several zoo animals.

In 1917 the show was further expanded when the old laundry (future Zoo entrance building) was repurposed as a Horticultural Hall.


Hershey Greenhouse, ca1931-1940

Hershey Greenhouse, ca.1931-1940


The show was discontinued in 1918 and it was not reestablished for several years. In 1930 Hershey constructed a new expansive greenhouse. With the new structure, Hershey was inspired to reestablish the Easter Show tradition. It is uncertain when it was restarted. The first reference to the revived Easter Flower show appears in a 1935 issue of the Hotel Hershey Highlights. The article also mentioned the success of the 1934 show. The Flower Shows continued throughout the 1930s. The last show was held in 1942 and was discontinued the following year because of wartime restrictions.


Easter Flower Show, Hershey Greenhouse, ca.1931-1942

Easter Flower Show, Hershey Greenhouse, ca.1931-1942