Little Bits of History

Hershey’s Park

Posted in History by patriciahysell on April 24, 2011

Overhead view of Hersheypark (photo by Retep412)

April 24, 1907: Hersheypark is opened for the exclusive entertainment of the Hershey Company employees and their families. Milton S. Hershey dropped out of school at age 12 and was apprenticed to a printer. He disliked the job and made sure to do it poorly. He was terminated and next worked for a candy maker. He much preferred this work. He started a candy company in 1876, but it failed. He moved to Colorado and worked in another candy shop. There he learned how to make caramels. He began his own company back in Pennsylvania, the Lancaster Caramel Company.

The Hershey Company was founded on February 9, 1894 using the proceeds from selling the fantastically successful caramel company. He received $1,000,000 [about $24,600,000 in today’s dollars] in the sale. He then began to concentrate on making chocolates rather than caramels. He renamed the town Hershey in later years. He was successful in selling sweet chocolates, but thought the wave of the future would be milk chocolate. He purchased a milk-processing plant in 1896 in order to work towards this new type of confection. By 1899, he had developed the Hershey process.

Hershey built a chocolate plant in 1903 in his home town, Derry Church, Pennsylvania. In 1907, a new candy was introduced, the Hershey Kiss. At first these were wrapped by hand but a wrapping machine was developed in 1921. More products were added to the line, the company remains in business as a publicly traded entity. Their revenues for 2010 were $5.671 billion with a income of $510 million.

The park remains open as well, but it is no longer solely for the employees and their families. All of us can go to Hershey, Pennsylvania and enter into the land of chocolate and fun. The park is open during the summer and has special days for Halloween and is open again for Christmas. There are rides, live shows, and an associated zoo and wildlife park. There are eleven roller coasters in the park, nine water rides and over twenty rides built for the smaller park enthusiasts. Tickets cost $53.95 for attendees between the ages of nine and 54. Children under two are free. Children from three to eight and adults from 55-69 are $32.95 each while seniors over age 70 can have a day at the park for $21.95. There are also deals for combined days and season passes are available.

“Caramels are only a fad. Chocolate is a permanent thing.” – Milton Snavely Hershey

“There’s nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.” – Linda Grayson

“Make a list of important things to do today. At the top of your list, put “eat chocolate.” Now, you’ll get at least one thing done today.” – Gina Hayes

“Don’t wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty. Chocolate isn’t like premarital sex. It will not make you pregnant. And it always feels good.” – Lora Brody

Also on this day:
Greeks Bearing Gifts – In 1184 BC the Greeks bring a gift to Troy.
Soyuz 1 – In 1967, the first space fatality occurred.

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