Not another post about my family tree though but rather a post about how a set of photographs have been released in order to celebrate Henry Isaac Rowntree turning the company from a family firm business into a national treasure over 150 years ago.
Fruit Pastilles (marketed as the 'Smoker's Favourite Sweet' in the 30's), Smarties (known as 'Chocolate Dragée' until 1937) , KitKats (previously known as Chocolate Crisp), Aero - just four of the iconic sweets that have become family favourites since this small family business started all those years ago. It is a little known fact that previous to this products were actually named after members of the then Royal family.
Founded as I mentioned by Henry Isaac Rowntree 150 years ago on July the first 1862, the firm was saved from bankruptcy when he was joined by his older brother, Joseph (pictured below with a grandchild) in 1896.
Run according to their Quaker beliefs, Rowntree's, along with Cadbury's, was a model employer providing a village complete with, amongst other things, a library, school, bank, dentist and sports facilities for the use of their employees.
Going from strength to strength the company went from making a chocolatey drink to creating a host of sweets, pioneering research and developing the concept of branding along the way thus giving the public what they wanted.
Having produced a range of 'novelty' goods (including a chocolate bar that containing meat was hailed as a health food) it wasn't until Frenchman Claude Gaget was hired in 1879 and created Rowntree's Pastilles and, later on, 'Chocolate Dragée', that the company became known for its sweets and chocolates.
Costing a whopping 100 shillings in 1925 it wasn't until the 1930's when chocolate bars were beginning to be seen as less of a luxury item that Rowntree's changed the public's perception of boxes of chocolates by marketing Black Magic as a box that was affordable as an 'every day' product.
And so from the 1960's which, with the introduction of the multi-pack, saw popularity increase until 1998 when the company was controversially bought by the Swiss firm Nestlé and the present day, here's to the next 150 years.
Source: Mail Online (June 2012). Click HERE to view full article and see more photographs.