|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).
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.
|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.
William Scranton and Hershey President Samuel Hinkle in front
of the conch display.
presented courtesy Hershey Archives
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.
of Hershey Park Amusement Park.
presented courtesy Hershey Archives
|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!