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Cocoa was around for centuries before Milton Hershey came along. But his innovations—and the creativity he nurtured in others—revolutionized the confection.

Get a taste of these inspired ideas, beginning with Hershey’s groundbreaking approach to milk chocolate. See a working machine for wrapping Kisses, engineered by two self-taught brothers at the Hershey factory, and try to put together your own virtual kiss wrapping line.

Workers operating the Hershey Kiss wrapping machines
Employees wrapping Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, 1905-1912

The centerpiece of this area, a conche machine for mixing chocolate, comes to life with a roar and a rumble. Panels detailing the chocolate-making process, plus archival footage of the Hershey factory in the 1930s, surround the authentic equipment.

This exhibit area also explores the 1893 Columbian Exposition, which provided a pivotal “aha!” moment for Milton Hershey: It was at that celebration of ingenuity and invention that Hershey bought his first chocolate-making machines. Other displays evoke the Philadelphia soda fountain that Hershey operated, a savvy way to keep his name in the public eye between the sale of his caramel company in 1900 and the unveiling of his chocolate factory in 1905.

Milk bottling at Hershey Estates Dairy, 1951-1959
Milk bottling at Hershey Estates Dairy, 1951-1959

The area concludes with a spirited look at varied products Hershey manufactured from the byproducts of chocolate making, from cocoa butter soap to cocoa shell mulch.

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