Hershey Candy Factory - 804 Penn Street, Reading, PA

2015-04-25
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In 1886, Milton S. Hershey established the Lancaster Caramel Company in Lancaster, which quickly became an outstanding success. Just before the turn of the century, Milton Hershey erected a factory at 804 Penn Street. Samuel Flick received the contract for erecting the new building. In August of 1898, Hershey employed about 100 people and produced about 300 buckets of chocolate caramels a week. Each bucket held 25 pounds. In 1899 the building at 804 Penn Street was partly destroyed by fire. The building was quickly rebuilt. Contractor George W. Beard received the contract to rebuild the Hershey factory. The new building was 265 feet in length, 36 feet in width and four stories in height. The front of the building was constructed of Indiana limestone and brick. The timber throughout was spruce and pine. A. F. Smith was the architect. In 1900, M. S, Hershey sold the Lancaster Caramel company and the Lancaster factory to the American Caramael company for $1,000,000. The factory at 804 Penn Street closed later the same year and was converted to a “Home Store” which sold household furnishings, chinaware, clothing, shoes, etc. Using the proceeds from the sale of the Lancaster Caramel company and factory, Milton Hershey purchased a large farm in the vicinity of Hockersville, several miles northwest of Campbelltown, and erected a chocolate factory on the farm. There, he could obtain the large supplies of fresh milk needed to perfect and produce fine milk chocolate. Excited by the potential of milk chocolate, which at that time was a luxury product, Hershey was determined to develop a formula for milk chocolate and market and sell it to the American public. Through trial and error, he created his own formula for milk chocolate. The first Hershey bar was produced in 1900. Hershey's Kisses were developed in 1907, and the Hershey's Bar with almonds was introduced in 1908.

Hershey Factory, 804 Penn Street, Reading, PA (1900)
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"Home Store" 804 Penn Street (1911)
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