Hershey Chocolate


Hershey Chocolate's exhibit at the Better Living Center was unique in that the candy giant had not one but three separate areas of exhibit space, two on the third floor and another in the lobby. The reason for this seemingly haphazard approach was because Hershey hadn't planned on being in the Better Living Center at all! Hershey had contracted for exhibit space in the World Of Food pavilion. When the World's Fair Corporation terminated all involvement with the World of Food and demolished the structural steel of the pavilion just weeks before the Fair's opening (see "What Ever Happened to the World of Food?" at nywf64.com) Hershey, like many other food-related exhibitors, was left with a choice of finding space elsewhere in the Fair or canceling their involvement altogether. Because they had planned on being one of the more prominent exhibitors at the World Of Food and had already printed and distributed Hershey Chocolate Bars with World's Fair wrappers, it made practical sense to stay involved with the Fair and rent space at the Better Living Center. (Hershey wrappers accordingly were quickly changed to show the Better Living Center logo rather than that of the World Of Food).

 

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Hershey candy bar wrappers were printed advertising Hershey's exhibit at the World of Food pavilion. Such advertising needed to be changed following Hershey's relocation to the Better Living Center.

World of Food Hershey's wrapper - front


World of Food Hershey's wrapper - back
Better Living Center Wrapper

The centerpiece of the Hershey exhibit amounted to a lesson on the process of making chocolate through a colorful wall illustration that charted each step and the active demonstration of a "conch" machine. The conch was, and remains, an important part of the chocolate making process in its later stage. For hours, a conch stirs the chocolate mixture (which has already undergone all earlier phases of production that include the addition of milk and sugar) until it reaches the right level of consistency. The chocolate paste stirred by the conch is squeezed or poured into the molds of candy bar shapes in the final phase of the process. The Better Living Center exhibit featured a "four-pot" style conch, a type most commonly used at the time. Today such conches are even bigger to accommodate greater mass production of chocolate.

 

Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton and Hershey President Samuel Hinkle in front of the conch display.

Source: Image presented courtesy Hershey Archives

Conch Machine

 

Angelo Elmi, a long-time Hershey employee who was in charge of setting up the conch exhibit, recalled in 1998 for the Hershey Archives how the conch demonstration could not utilize a real chocolate mixture. Instead, Fair visitors saw the conch stirring chocolate-colored wax. Large ten-pound blocks of this colored wax were brought in to use in the conch. But because it superficially resembled chocolate, Fair employees found themselves stealing pieces of it thinking they were getting a free sample of delicious Hershey chocolate. If any of them refused to eat Hershey chocolate again after that experience, it was certainly for the wrong reason!

At another exhibit table Hershey had a handsome model display replicating "Hershey Town USA," the western Pennsylvania company town established by Milton Hershey in 1903 and featuring, in addition to the Hershey plant, the Hershey Park amusement park which by this point was beginning plans for eventual conversion to a "theme park" in the tradition of Disneyland. Like the conch display, this model had originally been planned for Hershey's exhibit in the World Of Food.

 

Detailed model of Hershey Park Amusement Park.

Source: Image presented courtesy Hershey Archives

Model Hershey Theme Park

 

By the early 1970s, this conversion to theme park would be made complete with the opening of "Chocolate World" which replaced factory tours with a gift shop and visitors center offering a Disney/World's Fair style Omnimover ride through the chocolate-making process. Which only shows that if Hershey's exhibit at the 1964 World's Fair was somewhat limited in scope compared to that of other companies who had their own pavilions and full-fledged rides, it would soon be adopting the methods used by those companies at the Fair to promote themselves!




Morton Salt


4-minute break at Morton Salt!

Stop walking . . . pause while you see and hear the story of the food so common you can forget it's around; yet so vital you can't live without it. Enjoy "Salt of the Earth." In 4 minutes, experience a million years of salt history as you gaze into Morton's giant salt crystal millions of times normal size. Be our guest and rest.

Source: Morton Salt Exhibit advertisement - Better Living Center Visitor's Guide

Morton Salt Display
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