On this day, September 13 in the year 1857, the founder of one of the most iconic chocolate company was born in Pennsylvania, United States. His name was Milton Snavely Hershey, the confectioner who also built a company town in his name.
Milton Hershey was the only child of a farming couple. He had an absentee father and so, early in his life, he started to help in the family farm. He did not go beyond 4th grade. In 1871, he went to work in the printing press of a newspaper company. He considered the job boring and so he quit. With the help of some relatives, he began to apprentice in a confectionery company. In 1876, he setup his own candy making business. The business did not last long. So he travelled to Denver and then New Orleans, Chicago, and New York to look for work. In the meantime, he continued to study how to make milk candy. Soon, he put up another candy business in New York but again, it failed.
In 1883, Milton founded the Lancaster Caramel Company. This time, he made sure it will be a success. And succeed it did. A large buyer from England dropped by his factory and made a big order to be shipped to London. This enabled him to pay off his bank loan and to buy more and better equipment.
In 1900, Milton Hershey sold the Lancaster factory and bought a farm land which he envisioned to be the site of the largest confectionary factory in the world using the latest mass production techniques and complete with all facilities needed by his employees. From there, he started to produce his famous Hershey’s chocolate bar. Later, it added the bestselling Hershey kisses. Now made affordable, good tasting chocolate is no longer the preserve of the elite.
Milton Hershey died of pneumonia in 1945 at the age of 88. Milton and his wife did not have children.