From the Smithsonian, a photograph marking the Sept. 13, 1857, birthday of Milton S. Hershey, American confectioner, philanthropist and founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company. The company was founded by Hershey in 1894, and produced the first Hershey chocolate bar in 1900.
The U.S. Army’s requirements were quite specific. For troops engaged in a global war, they needed a ration bar that weighed about four ounces, would not melt at high temperatures, was high in food energy value, and did not taste so good that soldiers would be tempted to eat it except in an emergency. This last objective in particular was certainly a new one for the Hershey Chocolate Corporation. Nevertheless, its chocolate technologists came up with something that passed all tests. Named “Field Ration D,” it was so successful that by the end of 1945, approximately 24 million bars were being produced every week. More successful still was HERSHEY’S Tropical Chocolate Bar, a heat resistant bar with an improved flavor developed in 1943. Hershey chocolate bars were a standard part of a soldier's C-rations.
Emergency chocolate, indeed! Part of my C-rations whenever life presents challenges.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.