Shannon Stirnweis: Milton S. Hershey
At age 15, Milton Snavely Hershey worked as an apprentice to a confectioner in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 1876, after completing four years of training, the ambitious young man opened his own candy shop in Philadelphia. That venture eventually failed and Hershey returned to Lancaster. There he established the Lancaster Caramel Company, where he introduced the method of using fresh milk in the production of caramels. Having mastered that type of confectionery, Hershey sold his caramel company in 1900 for $1 million and embarked on perfecting a formula for the production of chocolate bars. Once again, milk was the magic ingredient that set his candy apart from others. In 1903, Hershey began building what would become -- despite his refusal to advertise -- the world's largest chocolate factory, on a site that is now fittingly known as Hershey, Pennsylvania. A noted philanthropist, Hershey founded the Milton Hershey School in 1909 to provide housing and education for orphaned boys. Today, the 12,000-acre campus surrounding the town of Hershey offers students college preparatory, business and vocational courses. In addition, the M.S. Hershey foundation -- supported by the bulk of the famed candymaker's fortune -- funds local public schools as well as Hershey Junior College. The man who once refused to advertise his products will forever be remembered as the creator of the "great American chocolate bar."
This painting originally appeared on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover of the 32¢ Milton Hershey Great Americans Series stamp issued September 13, 1995.
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