The Story Behind the Hershey’s Kiss

How the iconic chocolate Kiss was born, the origin of Milk Duds, the company's WWII "power bar," the founder's close call with the Titanic and more.

1. The third time was a charm

Milton S. Hershey as an apprentice at Royer’s Ice Cream Parlor with another worker in 1873. (Source: Hershey Community Archives, Hershey, Pennsylvania)

Founder of the Hershey Co., Milton Snavely Hershey, was born in 1857 in Derry Church, Pennsylvania, a city now known as Hershey. He became fascinated with chocolate-making after he attended the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. He worked for years to perfect a recipe for milk chocolate, something the Swiss had kept a closely guarded secret.

Hershey failed at two businesses before he started the successful Lancaster Caramel Co. and its trademarked line of Crystal A caramels. The Hershey Chocolate Co. was a subsidiary of the caramel company. He sold the parent company in 1900 for $1 million so he could concentrate on chocolate-making.


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