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Walter Baker & Co.

A trade card for Walter Baker and Company presents a bird’s-eye view of the company’s factories, which occupy several city blocks. It also depicts a can of their cocoa to ensure that potential customers would recognize their distinct packaging.

La Belle Chocolatière, adopted as their trademark in 1883, still appears as part of the logo of Baker’s Chocolate, now owned by Kraft Foods.

Walter Baker & Co., Limited (Dorchester, MA), Mills at Dorchester and Milton, Mass., c. 1883–1896. Chromolithographed trade card, (2 3/8 x 5 in).

“One of the Chocolate-Machines at the Manufactory of Walter Baker & Co,” 1891. Wood engraving. Published in The Chocolate-Plant (Theobroma Cacao) and Its Products (Dorchester, MA: Walter Baker and Co., 1891), 29 (9 1/8 x 6 ¾ in).

Another of the company’s marketing strategies consisted of publishing a hardcover book that explained the origins of their product and how they manufactured it. The company wanted readers to believe that it was both steeped in tradition and willing to update its methods: “In the manufacture of Walter Baker and Co.’s chocolate, this skill [at being able to make fine adjustments at each stage of the production process] has become developed to a very high degree during the hundred years of success. That the firm is ready to avail itself of every appliance known in modern manufacture is seen by their adoption of the complicated machinery illustrated on page 29. This chocolate-machine has a capacity of five tons of pure chocolate daily.” The large wood engraving that accompanied the text shows their equipment continuing off the page in both directions. It seems to take up the whole of a large room, which, along with the knowledge of its potential output, probably impressed readers.



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