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Hershey’s is an American manufacturer. The company are most commonly known for their chocolate bars. Hershey’s milk chocolate bar, recognised by its brown and silver wrapper, was one of the most well-known chocolate bars of the 20th century. Even today, Hershey’s are a common gift to give in America, or treat to buy for friends and family.

From Caramel to Chocolate

The company headquarters for Hershey’s are located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The company can be traced all the way back to the 1880s, with the founder of the Lancaster Caramel Company: Milton S. Hershey. Hershey visited the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893. Here, he witnessed German-made machinery processing chocolate and decided to go into the business of chocolate-making. Just a year later, in 1894, he started his own chocolate company. He sold off his caramel company in 1900 and opened up a new factory in 1903 due to his success.

Hershey also established the Hershey Trust Company in 1905, which would help with the upkeep of a school for children that were underprivileged. This school was later known as the Milton Hershey School. Most of Hershey’s stock for his own company was donated to the trust company; he did this completely of his own accord.

The Biggest manufacturer of Chocolate

The new factory that Hershey opened became the largest chocolate-manufacturing building in the world. The community of Hershey developed around the factory, which was based in Derry Township, still in Pennsylvania. By 1927, Milton Hershey’s company was known as the Hershey Chocolate Corporation, and they traded publicly. Hershey, himself, stayed with the company until shortly before his passing in 1945. Hershey’s product line expanded during this time, with the introduction of Kisses in 1907, all the way through to Krackle in 1938.

Unbeknownst to many, Hershey also contributed to World War II’s war effort by providing Field Ration D, a nutrition bar that was for emergency situations and wouldn’t melt in the high tropical temperatures. This nutrition bar was in no way temping, which meant that soldiers didn’t eat them unless they absolutely needed to.

An ever-growing company

After Milton Hershey passed, his company continued to grow. In the 1960s, the company brought out the rights to manufacture Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and also purchased two pasta businesses. In 1968, due to the new directions the company was taking, it was renamed the Hershey Foods Corporation. This would not be the last time the name of the company changed. It should be noted that Hershey’s sold off their pasta operations again in 1998.

Once factory tours came to a halt in 1973, Hershey’s Chocolate World popped up as a chocolate museum that also showcased interactive exhibits. Several more of these facilities would open later in other American cities.

Finally, the Hershey Foods Corporation changed their name to the Hershey Company in 2005. In their time as a company, they have had dealings with Cadbury’s, Leaf North America, Peter Paul Products, and others. The legacy of Milton S. Hershey continues.