This 121+ year old Item is rated Near Mint / Very Fine. Light aging throughout. No creases. No natural defects. No surface rub. No tears. No water damage.
Walter Baker Cocoa and Chocolate.
BakerÕs Chocolate actually began in 1765, under John Hannon. In 1780, the company was passed to James Baker, who then passed it to his son Edmund upon his retirement in 1804. Then, in 1823, Edmund continued the tradition, and passed the business along to his son Walter. In 1827, Walter changed the name of the family business to Walter Baker and Company and began marking his chocolate ÒW. Baker,Ó as opposed to his fathers ÒE. Baker.Ó
During the 1840s, the BakerÕs brand was being shipped via train to Nova Scotia, Portland, Maine, Halifax, Philadelphia, Virginia, Georgia, Baltimore, New Orleans and San Francisco (just in time for the hugely popular California Gold Rush). Walter was determined to make the family business a huge success by striving for superior product quality, unparalleled company reputation and strong customer loyalty. He also realized the grave importance of advertising and would correspond regularly with his distributors, retailers and even certain individual customers, as well as keep a personal tab on the various regional advertising campaigns that were in place. A very-involved Walter wanted to remain intimately connected with the companies that sold his product line and would often suggest various marketing ideas, such as window displays and the reuse of the productÕs tins. During this time, Walter expanded his product line to include Spiced Cocoa Sticks, French and Spanish Chocolate, Homeopathic Chocolate and Caracas chocolate.
In 1852, Walter died, and since he had no immediate family successor, he left the business to his second wife EleanorÕs brother, Sidney Williams, who had also been employed as WalterÕs long-time assistant. Unfortunately, Sidney died just two short years later, leaving the company to Walter BakerÕs step-nephew Henry Pierce. Pierce proved to be a driving force in the business and vastly increased Walter Baker and CompanyÕs production, growing it into a worldwide brand.
While visiting Dresden, Germany, Pierce noticed a pastel painting of La Belle Chocolatiere. The original La Belle Chocolatiere, an 18th century chocolate server named Anna Baltauf, was the object of Austrian Prince DitrichsteinÕs lust. The prince instantly fell in love with Baltauf and later married her. As a present to his wife, Ditrichstein commissioned Swiss artist Jean Etienne Liotard to create the painting that later caught PierceÕs eye in 1881. When Pierce returned to America he incorporated the La Belle Chocolatiere into the logo for the Walter brand. This logo continues to be AmericaÕs oldest and most widely recognized trademark still in use today.
Though business was booming during the 1800s, simultaneous fierce competition was also rapidly growing throughout the United States and Europe. In attempts to capture as many markets as possible, Pierce began displaying the companyÕs chocolate at expositions and worldÕs fairs. It was in 1867, that BakerÕs Chocolate and Cocoa first became a worldwide commodity after Pierce featured the product at the Paris Exposition, where it won the Silver Medal. Then, in 1873, BakerÕs won the highest and most sought after award at the Vienna Exposition. Three years later, the brand won the highest award at the Philadelphia Centennial. Due to the high exposure and popularity of such events, Pierce continued to feature the brand at worldÕs fairs far into the twentieth century.
In 1895, Pierce incorporated BakerÕs Chocolate, thus ceasing its existence as a sole family business.
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