July 27, 2013

7/22/13 - Hershey's Chocolate World

Yes, I know--Hershey's Chocolate World isn't a national memorial or monument.  But honestly, I don't understand why NPS hasn't yet established a memorial to Milton Hershey, founder of the country's first chocolate factory.  Chocolate is very important to the well-being of the people of the United States.  S'mores (made with Hershey bars) are the official dessert of campers everywhere!

Milton Hershey went to the Chicago World's Fair and saw chocolate making machines.  He then used good old American ingenuity to create a process to mass produce inexpensive chocolate candy bars. There's a national monument for the Wright Brother; wouldn't you agree that chocolate is at least as important as flight???
Old Factory

New Factory, 2012
They don't give tours at the chocolate factory anymore, but Chocolate World has a thing called Hershey's Great American Chocolate Tour which is a cross between a Disney ride and a factory tour, leaning more toward Disney. You could probably actually learn about how chocolate is made if you took the tour 6 or 7 times and could figure out how to ignore the noisy singing cows. (That might not be so bad because then you'd get 6 or 7 free samples.)
At the end of the ride you can look down on the shops, which sell everything with the Hershey label on it for more than you could buy it somewhere else. They have other attractions but they're a bit pricey and there were crowds of people, probably taking a break from riding all those roller coasters at nearby Hershey Park. 
The Hershey Story Museum is on the main street of town.  It's cleverly named Chocolate Avenue, keeping with the town theme.  In downtown Hershey, the street lights look like Hershey Kisses.  
There we learned more about Milton Hershey and how chocolate is made.  A few interesting things I retained from the museum tour:
          -- Hershey Bars have been around since 1900; Kisses since 1907
          -- Hershey bars cost 5¢ from 1900 to 1969
          -- Reese's factory is in Hershey, PA, too
          -- Hershey Park was built for employees
          -- Hershey donated his entire fortune ($60 million) to a trust fund for a school, still in existence today.

Now I'm not saying that the National Park Service has to bring back the 5¢ Hershey Bar, but I do think it's time for a memorial! 
 More pictures of Hershey?  Click here

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  1. Theo chocolate in Seattle (Fremont) has tours of their factory. It's fun and interesting.


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