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Hershey: Its Tins and a Lot More

by Mike Reilly

     For this issue's featured topic, I'm not going to go into a lengthy written article as before but list some of the most important items I have come across. 

     Hope you enjoy the info. Sources: "Milton Hershey Tasted Chocolate in 1893; The Rest Is History" by Barbara and Ken Beem, orig. printed for AntiqueWeek (found in the "Whittle Marks", a bottle club newsletter); the internet (Hershey's); The Collectible Classics from Commerce by Roselyn Grossholz.

Chronology of Events

  • 1857 - Milton Snavely Hershey, born on a Mennonite farm in Derry Church, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania (mother - Fannie, his father traveled extensively seeking his fortune when Milton was young).
  • Early Age - Apprenticed to the editor of a German language newspaper in Lancaster, PA. Lost his job when his straw hat fell into the printing press.
  • Apprenticed himself to Joe Royer, a candy and ice cream maker in Lancaster.
  • c.1875 - Went to Philadelphia to go into candy business for himself. Anticipating a huge business due to the forthcoming U.S. Centennial, he borrowed heavily from a maternal uncle to promote his business. Without being able to recoup even his initial investments, he took to the road like his father to make it rich.
  • In Denver he learns that the secret of fine candy making was using fresh milk.
  • Although regarded as a loser by friends and family, his mother, Aunt Mattie and a friend finance his venture to make "Crystal A" caramels at his Lancaster Caramel Co.
  • 1893 - Hershey tastes chocolate at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Buys German chocolate making machinery adding it to his Lancaster business. First he made chocolate-covered caramels.
  • From 1893-4, he was producing 14 varieties of sweets and soon developed milk chocolate bars (plain and with almonds), cocoa, and baking chocolate.
  • April 17, 1895 is the earliest recorded date of Hershey selling commercially.
  • He soon became a leading and recognized figure in his community. At last realizing his dream of riches, he toured the world, meeting his future wife, Kitty, who he married in 1898.
  • 1900 - Hershey sells his Lancaster caramel Co. for $1 million , but retains the chocolate making equipment and the right to manufacture it.
  • Hershey buys the first automobile in Lancaster using it for advertising as well as for making deliveries. Early advertising promoted the nutritional qualities of chocolate by featuring a background of green fields, cows and milk.
  • Hershey invests his money in a chocolate making facility in his birth-place of Derry Church, Dauphin County, PA. and begins building in 1903. The plant is completed in 1905. The area has an abundant water and labor supply and most importantly, lots of fresh milk.
  • Hershey develops the town into Hershey, PA. by building a bank, a zoo, hotel, churches, golf courses and parks. For out of town workers he built a trolley system to bring them to work. He established the Hershey Industrial School for boys in the early 1900's which today is known as the Milton Hershey School, now also accepting girls as students.
  • 1927 - Company's name is changed from Hershey Chocolate Co. to Hershey Chocolate Corp.
  • Some of his non-chocolate holdings are consolidated to form " Hershey Estates", now known as "HERCO".
  • 1945 - Milton S. Hershey dies at age 88.
  • 1960's - Company's marketing/promotional policies become more aggressive.
  • 1968 - Name changed to Hershey Foods Corp.
  • 1970 - Hershey Company begins a consumer orientated advertising program, buying advertising for the first time.
  • Today - Hershey offers the visitor: Hershey's Chocolate World, an alternative to the traditional factory tour, is at the visitor's center. Next door is the Hershey Museum with exhibits, photos, and memorabilia. Founders Hall in the Hershey School also features exhibits. A FREE visitors guide can be requested by calling 1-800-HERSHEY.

Checklist of Non-Tin Container Advertising Items:

  • *A variety of old and newer cardboard boxes featuring Hershey's Breakfast Cocoa and Baking Chocolate. Also one to sell eight 1-oz pieces of baking chocolate. Another for Hershey's Bon Bons.
  • *Glass milk bottles, half pint.
  • *Large number of different recipe pamphlets.
  • *Old, unused candy wrappers.
  • *Various shapes of chocolate/candy molds.
  • *Hershey Transit Co. plate, 9 in.
  • *Hershey Chocolate Cigar box, No. 6, c. 1890's. Other item novelties include: Exquisitos; Manila Chocolate Cigars; Le Chat Noir (black cat) cigarettes; Opera; Smart Set; and Tennis chocolates; plus flower-designed chocolates formed into chrysanthemums and sweet peas. Some chocolates were formed into lobsters, bicycles and fans and given French names like Le Roi de Chocolat, The King of Chocolate.
  • *Picture, litho, showing 1915 Hershey plant. "The Home of Hershey's Cocoa and Milk Chocolate 1915".
  • *Tin sign, framed, showing "Hershey's Chocolate/Brown Wrapper/Double Strength, w/ fac-simile of package- Hershey's No.1 Lancaster Chocolate.
  • *Many die-cut cardboard point-of-sale advertising signs including: Hershey's Chocolate Soldier; "No Fishing Without plenty of Hershey's" (a fisherman); "Serve Hershey's Cocoa Hot or Col"; "Milk Chocolate. New Style Bar" (pictures a 5 cent wrapped chocolate bar); picture of an old delivery truck w/kids and dog - "Hershey's Syrup Genuine Chocolate Flavor"
  • *Milk glass souvenir ashtray, hand-decorated, c.1930.
  • *Leather change purse, souvenir of Hershey Park, c. 1950.
  • *Glass-domed paperweight, depicting merry-go-round, c. 1930. Newer one also available.
  • *Pen knife in sheath, original box, souvenir of Hershey Park, c. 1950.
  • *Cloth sugar bag from Hershey's plant in Cuba.
  • *German plate depicting Hershey Convention Center, 6 in.
  • *Wooden bucket for shipping 25 lbs of "Kisses".
  • *Hershey hockey puck.
  • *Small cedar jewlry box, souvenir of Hershey, c. 1950.* Postcards of the town and factory.
  • *Posters advertising shows and sporting events at the Hershey Arena.
  • *Company letterhead (stationary).
  • *Souvenir programs.
  • *Pennants.
  • *Wallets.
  • *Mugs - Cake/Kids; Kiss (Kiss people); Miniatures; Hershey's plastic insulated; an older Hershey's; Hershey's 100th Anniversary.
  • Signs - Hershey Almond Boys (Mickey Rooney).
  • Trays - Hershey's Kiss Kids, 5in x 7in.
  • Cookie Jar - Hershey's Milk Chocolate, clear round.
  • Reese's Pieces Airplane
  • Hershey's Almond brass Candy Bar w/stand.
  • Hershey's brass Candy Bar w/stand, 100th Anniversary.
  • Of course you can buy any of the many products that Hershey produces today; bulk boxes, store display boxes, individual candy wrappers and bags. Don't forget about all of the food ads in magazines and newspapers.
  • A sale's man sampler (antique), contained samples of everything used for Hershey products.
  • Gift box (antique) about 6x3 with the Cocoa Bean on the front.

Tins and Related Items:

(Note: Most of the items listed below I don't have adequate descriptions of, re: size, dimensions, color, graphics, etc. Please send me more information and I'll reprint these checklists. Thanks, ChipTin)

  • Various early tins and buckets used to transport "Kisses" from factory to stores.
  • Collector's Series Trading Cards, 36 packs of eight cards, a total of 288 cards in a collectible tin. Each tin contains 3 chromium cards of a six card subset and one of them is made from wood. Each card has a bit of Hershey's history. Found on the internet at: 
  • Hershey Cocoa tin, 12 inch round, dark brown w/silver lettering.
  • Hershey's Hometown Series #1.
  • Hershey's Hometown Series #2,
  • Hershey's Hometown Series #3. Size 4 1/4" Diam 5 7/8" height. It's a blue main body with gold and white
  • Hershey's Hometown Series #4.
  • Hershey's Hometown Series #5
  • Hershey's Hometown Series #6.
  • Hershey's Vintage Edition #1.
  • Hershey's Vintage Edition #2; "Hershey's Pure Milk Chocolate"; c: 1992 H.F.C.; 6"x6" (cover) x 3" tall; brown borders, ivory background - red & brown lettering, standing lady in white uniform w/box of chocolates; (Sold new 1993 w/candy bars in "vintage" paper wrappers of the early 1900's, $3.98.)
  • Hershey's Vintage Edition #3.
  • Hershey's - A Kiss for You w/boy and girl.
  • Hershey's - A Kiss for You w/boy and girl, oblong.
  • Hershey's Kiss Kids, round.
  • Hershey's Kiss Kids, octagon shape. (Note: these two items are probably the same as the ones immediately before them.)
  • Hershey's Syrup Truck Tin - Bristol Ware.
  • Hershey's rectangular, red CH. eating cake.
  • Hershey's tall, rd, black w/ miniatures.
  • Hershey's Milk Chocolate - Recipe box.
  • Hershey's Velvet Sweet Chocolate - Recipe box.
  • Hershey's Cocoa Babe, square.
  • Hershey's large Fun Tin.
  • Hershey's medium Fun Tin.
  • Hershey's mini Fun Tin.
  • Hershey's Miniatures
  • Reese's Hometown Series #1.
  • Reese's Hometown Series #2.
  • Reese's Hometown Series #3.
  • Reese's Hometown Series #4.
  • Reese's Hometown Series #5.
  • Reese's Hometown Series #6.
  • Reese's Hometown Series #7.
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, lg. sq. like pkg.
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, sm. sq. like pkg.
  • Cadbury's Almond Joy.
  • Cadbury's Caramello.
  • Cadbury's Chocolate Biscuits
  • Cadbury York Peppermint Patty.
  • York Peppermint Patty, lrg. flat.

(Note: in the article on Hershey's I found a picture of a "Caramello" bar made by the company. Did they buy out Cadbury or vice versa? If so, there are several Cadbury tins that may be attributable to the Hershey Co. Please let me know)

From ChipTin: I partially answered my own questions above with the following; the Hershey Foods Corp. manufactures certain candy brands under license by Cadbury Ltd. But when this began and are the Cadbury tins attributable to the Hershey company, I don't know. Please check your tins with any Cadbury brands and see if Hershey's name is on them.

      Something else - the H.B. Reese Candy Co. is a division of Hershey Foods Corp. and is printed on the Reese's candy bars. Most of the candy bars, etc, are manufactured by Hershey Chocolate, U.S.A. a division of the same parent company. I don't have knowledge of when these changes occurred.

What follows is an update to last issue's article on collecting Hershey.

  • Vintage Edition #1 - 1990, features early style wrapper from 1912 era, says "Hershey's Sweet Milk Chocolate", along the sides are THE HOMESTEAD (Hershey's birthplace - later in his life it was expanded to house 13 orphans), The CHOCOLATE FACTORY, and HIGHPOINT (his home in later years), 2 7/8"H x 6"W x 6"D.
  • Vintage Edition #2 - 1992, features the "Hershey Girl" advertising from 1915, says "Hershey's Pure Milk Chocolate", 2 7/8"H x 6"W x 6"D.
  • Hershey's Milk Chocolate - 1993, features the cocoa bean baby/nymph, 6 3/4"H x 4 3/8"W x 4 3/8"D.
  • York Peppermint Patties - manufactured by Cadbury U.S.A., Nagatuck, CN., a division of Schwepp's Inc. (so this one wasn't made by Hershey's), 12 oz, 6 1/8"H x 4 1/4"W x 4 1/4"D, No date.
  • "Hershey's Milk Chocolate Since 1894; An Exquisite Confection made by Hershey Chocolate Co."; c: 1993 H.F.C.; 7"x7 1/2" cardboard (flip-top cover) x 2 1/2" high; baby blue background, no pictures, all words: brown, white, gold, red, pale yellow. (Reproduction of an 1894 Keepsake Box. Sold new filled with 16 oz. candy bars.)
  • Building a Legacy Canister Series #1; "Milton S. Hershey Building a Legacy"; c: 1996 H.F.C.; 4 1/4" rd. x 6 5/8" tall; rust, brown, gold - old fash. pic. of factory, people, lady w/cow, man, & story of M. S. Hershey 1857-1945. (Sold new 1997 w/candy, $3.97.)
  • Building a Legacy Canister Series #2; "Milton S. Hershey Building a Legacy"; c: 1996 H.F.C.; 2 3/4" x 4 1/4" (cover) x 6 3/4" tall; blue - old fash. pics of street lamp, bldgs., standing man, band, & story of M. S. Hershey, 1857-1945. (Sold new 1997 w/13 oz Hershey's Kisses w/Almonds, $3.97.)
  • Building a Legacy Canister Series #3; "Milton S. Hershey Building a Legacy"; c: 1996 H.F.C.; 4 1/8" x 4 1/8" (octagonal cover) x 6 1/4" tall; purple - old fash. pic. of house, people, man w/boy, 4 men w/bicycles, & story of M. S. Hershey. (Sold new 1997 w/candy, $3.97.)

The following is a list of books that a collector of Hershey memorabilia may find of interest. Those titles that are blue and under-lined may be clicked on and ordered from Amazon Books.

*Books about Hershey Chocolate

Chocolate by Hershey : A Story About Milton S. Hershey (A Carolrhoda Creative Minds Book) by Betty Burford, Loren Chantland (Illustrator), Reading Level: Ages 4-8, Paperback, 64 pages, Published by First Avenue Editions, Publication date: November 1994, Dimensions (in inches): 8.50 x 5.88 x .23, ISBN: 0876146418

Chocolate by Hershey : A Story About Milton S. Hershey (Creative Minds), by Betty Burford, Loren Chantland (Illustrator), Reading Level: Ages 4-8, Library Binding, Published by Carolrhoda Books, Publication date: October 1994, Dimensions (in inches): 8.77 x 6.29 x .49, ISBN: 0876148305

Hershey World's Greatest Antique Car Event (Great American Motoring Event), by Rich Taylor, Hardcover, 160 pages, Published by David Bull Pub Inc, Publication date: October 1997, Dimensions (in inches): 11.42 x 8.87 x .66, ISBN: 0964972220

Hershey's 1934 Cookbook, by Hershey Foods Corporation Staff, Rev & Exp Edition , Hardcover, Published by Smithmark Publishing, Publication date: April 1, 1993, Dimensions (in inches): 10.39 x 7.25 x .61, ISBN: 0831703717

Milton Hershey:The Chocolate King, by Biography Series, Vhs Video Edition, VHS Tape, Published by A & E HOME VIDEO, Publication date: February 1996, ISBN: 6303936970

Buffington Guide to Hershey : The Sweetest Place on Earth, 1993, by David Buffington, Frances Buffington, Paperback, Published by Buffington Pub, Publication date: December 1992, ISBN: 0963459457

Cal 97 : Hersheys : Recipes from the Hershey Kitchens, Wall Edition , Paperback, Published by Landmark Calendars, Publication date: August 1996, ISBN: 0781913268

Hershey's Best Cakes, Hardcover, 122 pages, Published by Random House Value Pub, Publication date: July 1, 1995, Dimensions (in inches): 8.34 x 8.29 x .63, ISBN: 0887056466

Hershey's 1934 Cookbook, Rev & Exp Edition , Hardcover, Published by Smithmark Publishing, Publication date: April 1993, ISBN: 088705627X

Hershey's Chocolate Classics , Spiral Edition , Paperback, Published by Pubns Intl, Publication date: June 1993, ISBN: 156173361X

Hershey's Light and Luscious, Hardcover, Published by Pubns Intl, Publication date: April 1994, ISBN: 0785306935

Ideals Hershey's Chocolate and Cocoa Cookbook, Reprint Edition , Paperback, Published by Outlet, Publication date: August 1986, ISBN: 0517379252

Milton S. Hershey, by Katherine B. Shippen, Hardcover, Published by Amereon Ltd, Publication date: April 1994, ISBN: 084881164X

Milton S. Hershey : Chocolate King, Town Builder (Community Builders), by Charnan Simon, School & Library Binding, Published by Children's Press, Publication date: April 1998, ISBN: 0516203894 (Note: This is a new book not yet released by the publisher, but can be advance ordered)

One of a Kind : Milton Snavely Hershey 1857-1945, by Charles Castner, Hardcover, Published by Hersheys Chocolate World, Publication date: June 1984, ISBN: 0943296021

Hershey's Chocolate and Cocoa Cookbook, Published by Ideals Pub, Publication date: April 1982, ISBN: 082493007X

Hershey's Chocolate Treasury, Published by Golden Pr, Publication date: May 1989, ISBN: 0307492745

Hershey's Cookies, Bars and Brownies, by Ideals Publishing Editors, Published by Ideals Pub, Publication date: October 1983, ISBN: 0824930231

Hershey's Fabulous Deserts, Published by Beekman House, Publication date: May 1990, ISBN: 0517667746

Hershey's Kidsnacks, Published by Ideals Pub, Publication date: October 1984, ISBN: 0824930347

Hershey's Kidsnacks (Ideals Cookbooks for Kids), Published by Children's Press, Publication date: April 1985, ISBN: 0516092316

Hershey's Old-Fashioned Christmas Cookbook, Published by Ideals Pub, Publication date: October 1989, ISBN: 0824930843

Hershey's Time-Less Desserts, by Marybeth Owens (Editor), Published by, Smithmark Publishing, Publication date: September 1985, ISBN: 0824930460

Ideals Hershey's Chocolate and Cocoa Cookbook, Published by Outlet,, Publication date: August 1986, ISBN: 0517428210

Milton Hershey, Chocolate King, by Mary Malone, Published by Garrard Publishing Company, Publication date: June 1971, ISBN: 0811645657


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