Hershey Miniature Holiday Candy Bars

Making History Monday

I would like SugarPressure.com to be a great place to read a wide range of information about candy. The main focus will be candy reviews but I'd like to add some variety to this site. I was thinking that each Monday I would try to write an historical article about candy, similar to the Chicken Dinner article I wrote on Thanksgiving Day.

Today is December 7 which is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, an event that resulted in the United States' entry into World War II. One very important candy bar from World War II was the Hershey Field Ration D Bar or the Tropical Bar.

While reading the national bestselling book The Emperors of Chocolate by Joel Glen Brenner, I learned how World War II helped Hershey become a household name in the United States by supplying the military with the Ration D Bar. There are many important points to make about this candy bar. The Ration D Bar was the first candy bar to be sealed in cellophane to keep it fresh. It was the first candy bar to withstand heat up to 120 degrees F and pack in 600 calories per bar. This bar came in a 3 pack to provide the needed 1800 calories a soldier would need if nothing else was available. (This bar also went to the moon with the Apollo 15 astronauts.)

In 1942, when the United States entered the war against Germany and Japan, the military ordered Hershey to commence full-scale production of the new ration bar, and for the next four years the Hershey plant operated around the clock, seven days a week, churning out half a million Ration D bars per shift. At the time, the factory was considered the most modern chocolate manufacturing facility in the nation. The plant was so efficient it supplied nearly every candy company in the country--including Mars--with chocolate to manufacture candy bars (from The Emperors of Chocolate, page 9).

More Information on the Ration D Bar:
Wikipedia - Military Chocolate
Hershey Historical Archives Online


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