Timeline Description: Milton Hershey (born September 13, 1857) was the founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, a candy maker and a philanthropist. He founded both the Hershey Chocolate Company and the company town of Hershey, Pennsylvania.
|September 13, 1857||Milton Hershey Was Born
Milton Hershey was the son of Mennonite farmers, Henry and Veronica "Fanny" Snavely Hershey. Milton's father was erratic, frequently leaving his family and Milton had a limited education after fourth grade.
|1871||Hershey Left School, Entered Apprenticeship
At 14 years old, Hershey left school for the last time. He began an apprenticeship with a local printer who published a German-English newspaper. He did not like the work, and soon moved on from his original apprenticeship.
|1871||Hershey Began to Learn Confectionary(1871 to 1872)
Since Hershey disliked printing, his mother arranged an apprenticeship with a candy maker in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Joseph Royer. Hershey took to the trade quickly.
|1876||Moved to Philadelphia
Having completed his apprenticeship, Hershey moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With financial support from his mother's family, he opened his own candy business in time for that year's Centennial Exhibition.
Hershey's candy business went bankrupt in 1882. He travelled to Denver, Colorado, to learn how to make caramel candies using fresh milk. He spent much of 1882 traveling, including visits to Chicago and New Orleans.
|1883||Moved to New York
Milton Hershey moved to New York after his visits to Denver, Chicago and New Orleans. He began training at Huyler's candy company, later opening his own business. His new candy company was relatively successful, but closed in 1886.
|1886||Founded Lancaster Caramel Company
In 1886, Milton Hershey founded the Lancaster Caramel Company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The company was a quick success, and his caramels were very popular. This established him as a successful and well-known candy maker.
|1900||Sold Lancaster Caramel Company
In 1900, Hershey sold the successful Lancaster Caramel Company and made a substantial profit. He acquired a significant amount of land about 30 miles from Lancaster using his profits. This land would form the basis for his new company.
|1900||Sold First Hershey Bar
With the land purchased, Hershey began to work on a formula for an affordable, accessible milk chocolate bar. By the end of 1900, he had sold his first Hershey Bar. Hershey's Kisses followed in 1907 and the Hershey Bar with Almonds in 1908.
|1903||Began Construction Hershey Chocolate Company
Construction began on an industrial chocolate factor using the most modern mass production techniques in 1903. He completed construction on the factory in 1905. Facilities to support the workers, including churches, schools, homes and businesses appeared around the factory, creating the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania.
|1909||Established the Hershey Industrial School
Hershey and his wife, Catherine "Kitty" Sweeney, had never had children, but had accumulated great wealth. In 1909, they established the Hershey Industrial School to provide education for orphaned boys in the community, and later to manage their wealth.
|1918||Transferred Assets to Milton Hershey School Trust
Following Catherine's death from tuberculosis in 1915, Hershey transferred most of his wealth, including controlling interest in the company to the Milton Hershey School Trust. Today, the School Trust continues to work to provide for the well-being of the community in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
|1935||Established the M.S. Hershey Foundation
In 1935, Hershey established the M.S. Hershey Foundation to provide cultural opportunities in Hershey, Pennsylvania for workers and residents. This funds the Hershey Museum, Hershey Gardens, and Hershey Theater.
|1940||Produced Ration D and Tropical Chocolate Bars(1940 to 1945)
During the war years, Hershey Chocolate produced chocolate bars for the troops. These needed to stand up to high temperatures, but should not, in the case of Ration D bars, taste too good. Tropical chocolate bars tasted better, but still had to be able to withstand hot weather.
|October 13, 1945||Milton Hershey Died
Hershey died at the age of 88. He had never re-married following his wife's death, and his life's work still serves to enrich people's lives in Hershey, Pennsylvania.