National Geographic : 1935 Jul
PENN'S LAND OF MODERN MIRACLES The final word in safety glass is the bullet proof kind that is now being put in some banks and many armored trucks. The artisans take five layers of glass, the first layer thin, the second one a little thicker, the third or middle one half an inch thick, and the fourth and fifth correspond ing in thickness to the second and first, re spectively. These they carefully cement together with a Du Pont product. When an associate of mine visited the Duplate factory, one of its men set a piece of this glass on a heavy easel and provided him with a 45-caliber Colt revolver contain ing cartridges filled with powder 75 percent higher powered than ordinary small arm ammunition. He fired at twenty paces. The impact was so tremendous that the remains of the bullet were nothing more than little masses of white powder, with touches of black where its striking surface had been. But the glass-it was still intact shivered a little but shattered not at all. HERSHEY, SPIRITUAL DESCENDANT OF PENN In Pennsylvania philanthropies flourish as they do in few other areas upon the earth. The altruistic spirit of William Penn and Benjamin Franklin started an era of con sideration for the unfortunate, and this spirit has borne fruit in every section. Stephen Girard's college, whose story was told in "The Historic City of Brotherly Love," in the December, 1932, number of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, is now finding a counterpart at Hershey, in Dauphin County. Milton Snavely Hershey, born on a humble farm, justified the proverb of Solo mon that a man diligent in his business would come to stand before kings. The farm on which he was born and on which he "hopped clods" many a dreary day lies within the chocolate empire he has built up. Before he had finished the graded schools, young Hershey found employment as a printer's devil. At 19 he went into the candy business with a caramel wagon in Philadelphia. But a car collided with his wagon and ruined this enterprise. Then, with money a good old aunt gave him, he set out for New York. Failure pursued him there, and he went bankrupt. In 1886 he went back among his own people and estab lished a caramel business in Lancaster. In 15 years he built it up to a point where he sold it for a million dollars-at the age of 43. He decided to retire and travel around the world. He and his wife got no farther than Mexico, where, tired of travel, he again felt the urge to go into active business. He determined to return to the soil on which he was born and build a factory in which he would mix the pure milk of the great herds of Lebanon Valley cows with the fine flour of the roasted cacao bean and the sweet sugar of Cuba and make a milk chocolate bar that could be sold for five cents. In addition to this, he would make an almond bar. ORPHAN HEIRS TO MILLIONS By 1909 the idea had brought him so much money that his task thereafter became one of disposal rather than accumulation. He had no children-the orphans of Penn sylvania would become his future care. Today the vast estate is in the hands of the trustees for those orphans, and the Hershey Industrial School has property and endowment of $65,000,000. The trustees for the orphans own 500,000 out of the 729, 000 shares of the chocolate company. In addition they own a $30,000,000 sugar plantation in Cuba, one of the finest suburban hotels in America, a 21-section department store, and vast community properties in the town of Hershey. The chocolate factory uses 240,000 quarts of milk, three carloads of sugar, and several carloads of chocolate to make 625,000 pounds of chocolate products each day, and ships some forty carloads of sweets every twenty-four hours. There are 9,000 acres in the Hershey holdings in Dauphin County. The 800 boys are scattered about over the countryside in 40 separate houses. Ten are cottages, each with a capacity of 30 boys, cared for by three house mothers. The other 30 are farmhouses for the boys over 12 years of age. Each is occupied by a farmer and his wife, who take their quota of boys to care for and to train in the art of doing chores. During the school year they go to school and at vacation time work on the farm. As they grow older, the boys are per mitted to choose whether they will fit them selves for college or learn a trade. The majority elect the latter, and whatever their bent, there is equipment in the school and work in the town to meet it. At the age of 18 they are given $100, clothes to last them a year, and the bless ings of the school.