Milton Hershey: The Man Behind the Chocolate

Well, hello funny name fans! I open this FNiFood post by introducing myself, as my failure to do so last time caused Dave great consternation. (Really, it didn’t. It’s just more fun to use the word “consternation” than to say he reminded me to tell you who I am.) So… I’m Liz and I stop by monthly to introduce you to exemplary-named individuals who are also connected to food.

Allow me to review: We’ve visited cookbook author Crescent Dragonwagon, restaurateurs The Brothers Dickey, and pastry queen Gesine Bullock-Prado. If you enjoy what you read here, you can find me each week at food for fun and if that’s not enough, I post fun food (and drink) daily at deLizious facebook. (Please Like me 😉 ) With that behind us and hoping Dave is satisfied, shall we move on to funny names?

We’re talking chocolate today. Or rather, the man behind the chocolate: Milton Snavely Hershey. Born 1858 (September 13 should you want to mark your calendar for celebration with chocolate cake) to Veronica “Fanny” Snavely and Henry Hershey, Milt was raised in Pennsylvania’s Mennonite community. Due to family hardships, his formal schooling ended with 4th grade and his late teens and early 20s found him traveling with father on sales trips. Just shy of age 30, young Hershey started the Lancaster Caramel Company using a recipe he’d found during his travels. LCC’s immediate and phenomenal success established him as a candy maker, setting the stage for future chocolate awesomeness.

Fast-forward to 1893’s World Colombian Exposition, where Hershey becomes enamored with equipment to make German chocolate. Purchasing said equipment, he begins laying plans. In 1900, Hershey sells his caramel emporium and uses proceeds to buy land for dairy farms. With fresh milk at his disposal, he perfects the manufacture of top-notch milk chocolate. That same year saw the introduction of the first Hershey Bar; the little Kiss arrived in 1907. Just one year later, Hershey’s with Almonds was born. Hershey’s milk chocolate quickly became the first nationally marketed confection of its kind.

Milton S lives forever on the 32-center--pretty cool for someone who never went beyond 4th grade in school.

Milton S lives forever on the 32-center–pretty cool for someone who never went beyond 4th grade in school.

Along the way, Milt married Catherine “Kitty” Sweeney. After learning they could not have children, they established the Hershey Industrial School to help educate other young tykes. After Kitty died, Milton transferred most of his assets, including control of his company, to a trust fund to benefit his school. It’s been noted that Milton Hershey put product quality and the well-being of workers ahead of profits—a fine tribute to a man who also brought us the chocolate bar.

should you reside in the census-designated locale that is Hershey, Pennsylvania, this would be a lampost to light your way

should you reside in the census-designated locale that is Hershey, Pennsylvania, this would be a lampost to light your way

Milt was so amazing that the folks of Pennsylvania named a town after him—sort of. According to Wikipedia, Hershey, PA, is “census-designated” but “has no legal status as an incorporated municipality.” Home to Hershey factories and its namesake school, The Sweetest Place on Earth is plenty legit in my book. On behalf of chocolate lovers everywhere, I thank you, Milton Snavely Hershey for your chocolatey innovation and hard work. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden craving for a candy bar. See you next month for more funny-names-in-food discoveries!

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About Liz

Owner of deLizious Food Communications. Projects include recipe development, editing, and formatting; food writing and editing; nutrition analysis; public speaking and cooking instruction. Past and present clients: General Mills, Green Giant Fresh, Hormel, Minnesota Beef Council, Minnesota Soybean, Minnesota Pork Producers, Norwood Promotional Products, Pillsbury, Tad Ware, and Weight Watchers Publishing. Mother of two young girls.
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13 Responses to Milton Hershey: The Man Behind the Chocolate

  1. Great post Liz.

    What with chocolate and a well placed “Fanny” reference, how could I not love it.

    Somehow it just goes together like a horse and carriage. 🙂

    • Liz says:

      I did get a chuckle out of that Fanny business as I was researching this soon after Dave commented on all the great Fanny names out there. And I knew you like a good chocolate story, so this one is most definitely for you 🙂 Thanks for coming by!

  2. Dave says:

    I’ve been wondering what the S in Milton S Hershey stands for since… about 5 minutes ago. But Snavely is an excellent payoff! Seems like a cool guy as well, always giving back to the community.

    Oh, the consternation (and Ethel) of it all!

  3. amb says:

    Liz!! Ok, first of all, “consternation” is an awesome word that I definitely need to start using more often, and second of all, that lamp post is an awesome lamp post that I definitely need to see in person some day.

    Such a fun post! 🙂

    • Liz says:

      Hershey, PA looks to be a Disney of sorts. Lots of employment opportunities as well if the website is current. Do you suppose the town always smells of chocolate? Could a person tire of that smell? (I’d imagine yes.) Lots of questions and thoughts I didn’t even know I had before researching for the BoFN team. Always good to see your sunny face, amb. Good luck with your re-entry tomorrow!

  4. Pingback: scones with soy and the one with all the links | food for fun

  5. I know lots of people have said this before, but what a great concept (and faultless execution too, of course;) )
    Glad I stumbled upon your blog!

    • Liz says:

      Love that you found Blog of Funny Names, Gardener 🙂 Stopped over at your place and what a delightful spot! Language is for a sure a fun thing share.

      Also love that you think I have much of anything to do with this blog–I’m simply a humble guest poster 😉 All start-up credit goes to three fine young men named Dave, Arto, and Rob. Thanks for coming by and be sure to do so again!

  6. Pingback: Crescent Dragonwagon, etc: The Summer Slide Edition | The Blog of Funny Names

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