Agricultural History Series
Missouri State University
1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair
The Chocolate Standard in Three Centuries
If you visited the Exposition, you would have found a building in pure Colonial style, two stories high. It was a full size replica the home of Walter Baker Chocolate. Within the building at one side of the entrance was the exhibition room, where the various chocolates and cocoa made by this well-known firm were shown and sold. In large glass jars were displayed the raw material from which these goods were made, beginning with the great cucumber-shaped cocoa pods, and continuing through the beans, shells, cracked cocoa, and the cocoa butter, down to the finished products-the finely powdered cocoa, and the chocolate unequaled for smoothness, delicacy, and flavor. Large bags of the different varieties of cocoa beans were also shown.
At the left of the main doorway was the lecture-room, where Miss Burr, of the Boston School of Domestic Science, lectured each day on scientific cookery with chocolate.
The feature that attracted the most attention was the complete working-model of the chocolate machines shown in the center of the main floor. This model, made in Germany specifically for this Exposition, was run by its own little motor, and showed the process of chocolate making from the time the raw beans come into the factory. First, was the roaster, then the winnowing machine, in which the husks were removed, the grinders which reduced the beans to a semi-liquid state, the melanger, and the rollers. The noisy little shakers jolted the soft chocolate into shape, and the bolter drove the cocoa through the fine cloth until it reached the evenly powdered condition.
The Walter Baker Exhibit
Located on the second floor was a serving room, where Bakerís vanilla chocolate and cocoa were served. A genuine antique was the mahogany clock at the head of the stairs. This clock was 150 years old, and made on the Island of Jersey. In one corner of the second floor was the kitchen run by a man named Ben who had been with the company for 12 years.
The Interior Showing Chocolate Machine Model
The Walter Baker chocolates were produced in Dorchester on the banks of the Neponset River since 1780. Walter Baker chocolate and cocoa was said to have set the standard for genuine worth and purity, a reputation which was well maintained at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.
Reference: The World's Work Advertiser August 1904
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