“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
That adage might have been coined with Milton Hershey in mind. America’s most famous confectioner bounced from failure to fiasco before hitting on a winning recipe.
In the first gallery of the exhibition, visitors follow Hershey’s bumpy path to success through a series of historic settings that evoke key points in his early life and career.
Stepping through the door of Hershey’s birthplace, visitors are surrounded by three additional façades: a recreation of Hershey’s first shop in Philadelphia, the thriving Lancaster Caramel Company, and finally his chocolate factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Activities, images, and artifacts at each site capture Hershey’s ambitions, setbacks, and the unquenchable entrepreneurial spirit that overcame the odds.
The journey begins at the Hershey Homestead, introducing Hershey’s family and apprenticeship. Next it recreates Hershey’s first, short-lived shop in Philadelphia. Visitors then step into his office of the Lancaster Caramel Company, where Milton Hershey finally found the formula for success.
The last stop is at Hershey’s great chocolate factory in the town that bears his name. It was here that Hershey perfected his process of mass-producing milk chocolate, transforming an elite sweet into a treat for all.
Male employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company pictured in front of the factory, c. 1915