The Design Company.

You can change this area in header.php

Special Sidebar

You can add any content in this area by go to

Archive for July, 2011

Bursting with Almonds: Hershey’s 50-50 bar


Hershey's 50-50 Almond bar; 1926

Hershey's 50-50 Almond bar; 1926


The popularity of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar with Almonds led the Hershey Chocolate Company to develop a new product with even more almonds.  Introduced in 1921, the 50-50 (sometimes Fifty-Fifty) Almond bar was considered a a “Fancy Good” along with Bon Bons and 1/2 and 1 pound boxed Kisses wrapped in  Hershey maroon paper-covered boxes.  A few years later in 1925 a 1/2 pound 50-50 Almond (Item #10 1/2) was added to the product list.  The success of this product led to Hershey discontinuing the 1 pound version.


While Bon Bons and 50-50 Almond bars were initially marketed by salesmen throughout the United States lower sales led to the company’s decision to limit distribution to Hershey.  A September 28, 1933 memo to Salesmen read:


Fancy box packages “Items Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 are manufactured primarily for use in the town of Hershey.  You are not to solicit business on those numbers from our jobbing distributors; but we are not adverse to shipping one pound and one-half pound boxes of Kisses, (Items Nos. 2 and 3) to retail distributors.




Customer Sales Brochure, ca.1954

Customer Sales Brochure, ca.1954




While limiting distribtion to Hershey, the 50-50 product line expanded in 1931 with Item #32, a 2-pound Baked Almond Milk Chocolate Bar.  The package was actually 2 one-pound bars that were molded into break-apart 5 bar units and packed in a Hershey maroon box.  In addition to being marketed in Hershey, it was also sold to select corporate customers who used it as holiday gifts.


Hershey’s 50-50 Almond bar was produced until April 1943 when it and most other Hershey products were discontinued in response to World War II imposed rationing of metal foil, almonds and sugar.  Production resumed in 1947.  Hershey was not consistent in the what name it used for this product.  At various times the 50-50 bar was marketed as Hershey’s Baked Almond Milk Chocolate, Hershey’s Toasted Almond Milk Chocolate and simply Hershey’s Almond Milk Chocolate.



Customer Sales Brochure, ca.1954

Customer Sales Brochure, ca.1954



When production resumed in 1947 Hershey also introduced Item #33, a 14 ounce bar.  Hershey sought to expand its distribution of both bars beginning in 1953 when it began marketing the bars as a mail order product directing its marketing efforts toward the Automatic Canteen wholesaler and other special suppliers.  Both products were produced and distributed until they were replaced with the Golden Almond bar in 1977.

Hershey Park: Bigger and Better: The Dentzel Carrousel

Hershey’s first merry-go-round was so successful that Milton Hershey soon decided that the Park needed a larger, more impressive carrousel.  In 1912 Milton Hershey bought a new $10,000 carrousel for the park.  This time he acquired one of the best carrousels that money could buy from William Dentzel of Philadelphia. 
The Dentzel carrousel offered riders a variety of animals in addition to the traditional horses.  ca.1935-1944

The Dentzel carrousel offered riders a variety of animals in addition to the traditional horses. ca.1935-1944

Dentzel, who was known as “the Carrousel King,” came from a long line of carrousel manufacturers.  The Dentzel family had been in the business since 1837 when members of the family manufactured their first carrousel in Germany.  Dentzel’s father, Gustav Dentzel, came to America around the time of the Civil War and manufactured carrousels in Philadelphia until his death in 1909.  William Dentzel succeeded his father as head of the company.  In 1912 the Dentzel Company was one of the largest manufacturers “Of better, first class carrousels in America.”  The company, located in Philadelphia, PA, specialized in manufacturing large carrousels for use in amusement parks.


The miniature train passed right by the carrousel in its new location by Spring Creek .  ca.1916-1917

The miniature train passed right by the carrousel in its new location by Spring Creek . ca.1916-1917

This time plans called for the carrousel to be located in a more central location in the Park.  A new pavilion was built for the Dentzel carrousel directly across from the dance pavilion (in the same location as the  future Hershey Park Ballroom) on the opposite side of Spring Creek near Park Boulevard.  The new carrousel was much larger, with a 12.5 feet wide platform.  The outside row of animals was stationery and featured a menagerie of animals including a lion, tiger, a deer, giraffe as well as 12 horses of different designs, making a total of sixteen animals.  The two inside rows were jumpers and included two each of ostriches, rabbits, goats, bears, pigs, cats, chickens and  deer.  The were also two large carved chariots with upholstered seats for people who did not wish to ride an animal.  The carrousel was a spectacular ride at night lit with more than four hundred lights. 


The carrousel was located next to Spring Creek.  ca.1933

When Milton Hershey purchased the Dentzel carrousel he had it installed next to Spring Creek. ca1933

To make the ride even more exciting, Dentzel supplied a ring board and a ring catcher.  Riders on the outside row of animals could reach up during the ride and try and grab a ring, hoping to get the brass one that would give him or her a free ride.   The ring machine remained very popular for many years.   Dick Seiverling  in his oral history interview had fond memories of trying to catch the ring:

I think perhaps the area of the Hershey Park I remember most of all is the carousel, the merry-go-round, and how the people, fanatics, would try to get the gold ring out of the horse’s mouth.  And some were that adept at it, they could get two rings at one round, you know, as it went around.  And, of course, the person that got the gold ring would get a prize or a free ride.  The carousel was then located at the bridge next to the creek, and I remember how we would stand there at the creek at the bridge and watch the big carp [and mallard ducks] and feed them [bread and] popcorn.  Of course, we didn’t feed them a lot of popcorn in those days, because that cost money.  I should say we saw other people feed the carp [and ducks] popcorn, because we weren’t about to spend any of our hard-earned allowance.