Milton Hershey was a man with an admirable amount of determination and a genuine spirit for those he employed. *Hershey has become a household name from the beginning. He has even built an entire town around his business. At the age of 14, only a year after dropping out of school, Milton expressed an interest in candy making and began an apprenticing with a master confectioner in Lancaster, PA. Four years later, Hershey borrowed $150 from his aunt to set up his own candy shop in Philadelphia. For 5 years he put his determination into that business but success eluded him. He then reunited with his father out west and found work with a confectioner. It was there that he discovered caramel and how fresh milk could be used to make it. That is when Milton decided to return Lancaster Pennsylvania. In 1883 he started the Lancaster Caramel Company and in 1900 sold it for an amazing $1 million dollars. For several years after this sale he spent his time looking for a perfect way to mass produce milk chocolate. With the wealth he generated from the sale of Lancaster Caramel Company, he could put his plan into action. In 1905 he opened what is still known today as the Hershey Chocolate Company.
Hershey’s vision was to not only build a company, but to build a town that his workers could work, live, play and prosper. As his wealth grew with the company he knew he wanted to give back to the community and town. The town has been officially known as Hershey since 1905. He built schools, parks, churches and recreational facilities for his employees. He even added a trolley system for his workers. Hershey’s philanthropy kept going even when the economy struggled and he was nearing the end of his days. In the 1930’s, during the great depression, Hershey ignited a building mini-boom in his town to keep the men working. During World War II Hershey backed the country’s military efforts and made chocolate bars called Field Ration D Bar. This candy was carried by GI’s serving in...
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