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Archive for the ‘Hershey Department Store’ Category

Time to shop!

Hershey Store Company offered a full range of goods, including clothing, furniture, tools and groceries.  ca1910-1920

Hershey Store Company offered a full range of goods, including clothing, furniture, tools and groceries. ca1910-1920


For many children, next week means back to school.  A lot of shopping will be taking place between now and Monday to prepare for a new year.  


In Hershey, shopping options have evolved over the years.  Today, Hershey has a wide array of retail venues that are housed at an outlet center located off of Hersheypark Drive.  Shopping downtown is limited, to say the least.  It wasn’t always this way.


Hershey Store Company opened in 1910.  It offered a full range of goods for sale.  1912

Hershey Store Company opened in 1910. It offered a full range of goods for sale. 1912


Milton Hershey’s plans for a model industrial town included establishing a store to meet the community’s shopping needs.  Like many of his other ventures, the first store, established in 1907, was a modest venture, located in a corner of the Cocoa House.  This general store soon expanded, quickly outgrowing its original location.  In 1909 a building was begun on the southwest corner of Chocolate and Cocoa Avenues to house the rapidly growing business.  This new building was designed with a Spanish style of architecture, with projecting red-tiled eaves and stuccoed walls.  When first erected the building formed a perfect a square, 120′ on each side with 2 stories and a basement.  A addition was built in 1911.


The Hershey Store Company offered many different things to its customers.  The store liked to boast that it could care for people’s needs ‘from cradle to grave.’  A article in the  May 28, 1914 issue of the Hershey Press, stated:


The store can furnish the lumber, hardware and other materials to build a house, can furnish the workmen to supply complete lighting equipment, can install any kind of heating and plumbing system and can furnish it (the house) throughout from the stove in the kitchen to the elegant suite for the parlor, including carpet, rugs, shades and everything needed or desired for the house.  It can furnish clothing for the whole family with groceries, meats and vegetables, ice for preservation and coal to cook them.  From the west annex it can supply the farmer with tools and machinery, with carriages and wagons, with seeds and feed for stock, and can shoe his horse and repair his wagons and harnesses.


A drug store was available within the store with a druggist on duty until 10:00 every night.  There were services available in the basement including cobbling, electrical heating, plumbing and tinning departments.  The store also took orders for automobiles and had a bakery.


Hershey Department Store.  ca1926-1935

Hershey Department Store. ca1926-1935


As it continued to expand its services, merchandise and business, the store again outgrew its confines.  In 1920 it relocated across the street to the Hershey Press Building, standing on the corner of Chocolate and Park Avenues. This three story building covered nearly 60,000 square feet, more than twice as much as had the previous location.  The business was renamed the Hershey Department Store and operated from this location until it closed in 1973.

Honest Products, the Hershey way

Hershey stood at the forefront of promoting the values and of the the Pure Food Law of 1906.  This law, a major achievement of the Progressive Movement, protected consumers from being deceived or harmed by food products with false or deceiving labels.  The national Pure Food movement inspired Pure Food Shows in cities across the United States during the second decade of the 20th century.

Locally, Harrisburg first sponsored a show in 1914.


Hershey Press, February 3, 1916.  page 8


 Hershey finally got on the bandwagon in 1916 when the Hershey Store Company sponsored its first show.  The show was advertised in the community newspaper, The Hershey Press

Hershey's 1st annual Pure Food Show, held February 8-12, 1916, at the Hershey Store Company.

Hershey's first Pure Food Show was held at the Hershey Store Company, 2/1916.

 Held for five days in February 1916, the show not only featured display booths sponsored by a wide variety of manufacturers but also presented free motion pictures in the Hershey Central Theater.  Hershey, not to be outdone by the big cities, filled to overflowing the Hershey Store Company Grocery Department with exhibits of the leading food manufacturers.  There were 18 booths featuring a range of manufacturers and growers including Karo (Corn Products Refining Company), Heinz, Occident Flour, Dromedary Products, Postum foods, Grapefruitola, Sunkist, Moxley Butterine (Oleomargarine), Foulds spaghetti, Sunshine Biscuit and of course, Hershey Chocolate and Cocoa. 


Heinz food products, 2/1916

 Though billed a “Pure Food Show” the event also featured non-food quality products such as Diamond Matches and ‘Perfection’ Oil Stoves.


Perfection Oil Stoves and Parowax, Hershey's Pure Food Show, 2/1916

 More than 7000 people attended the five day show that also included daily concerts by the Hershey Orchestra.  The show was repeated in 1918 with more exhibits and expanded to other facilities in Hershey.

 For more information about the Pure Food Show, search the Hershey Press newspaper, available through the Archives website.