Biographical / Historical
According to family research, Samuel Blumenthal entered the United States from Bavaria, Germany in 1849 and his future wife, Henrietta Sternberger, entered the United States in 1859. They married in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1864 and settled in Wilmington, North Carolina where they began a family. They moved to Philadelphia in 1887.
Samuel and Henrietta's son, Joseph, founded the Peerless Extract Company in 1895, and by 1900 the business has become Blumenthal Brothers Extract Company. Brothers Joseph, Abraham, Aaron, Jacob, and Moses signed a partnership agreement in 1905. By 1909 they began cocoa cake and powder production. In 1910 they purchased land in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia for a new factory and by 1911 the building was in use. This site was expanded over the years and was the main office and plant for the company.
Over the course of the next fifty years, the company developed and introduced well-known chocolate candies such as Goobers (1925), Raisinets (1926) and later Snocaps and Buddy Bars. Blumenthal Brothers products and their logo B*B became familiar to the chocolate-buying public. The brothers ran the company collectively with Joseph Sr. as president and material buyer, Aaron as factory manager, Jacob as coating department sales manager, Meyer as the New York City sales manager, Abraham as the southern states salesman, and Moses as a part-time employee. Moses' primary career was as the illustrator, M.L. Blumenthal, doing work for such publications as The Saturday Evening Post, The National Magazine, Collier's, the Associated Press, and others.
Blumenthal Brothers candies took advantage of the burgeoning motion picture business. One of their early molded chocolates was in the shape of Jackie Coogan who had become famous playing "the Kid". The B*B candies were boxed and portioned perfectly for the sale to and enjoyment of the movie going public. They also produced cocoa and coating products for the industrial and home markets.
In the late 1930s and 1940s the second generation of Blumenthals joined the company, sons of the founding brothers. These were Bernhard "Bud", Samuel, Joseph Jr., Lawrence, Mike, J. Robert, and Jack. Joseph Jr., Bud, and Larry joined the armed forces during World War II. Additional real estate was purchased in 1948 as the company expanded and sales grew. By 1950, the company's Golden Jubilee, sales topped $10,000,000. They began producing holiday specific candies in 1951 and issued public bonds for investors beginning in 1958.
The 1960s saw the company employing television advertisements beginning in 1961 on the National Broadcasting Network (NBC). In 1968 papers for a merger with Ward Foods Incorporated were signed and as of January 30, 1969 the sale was finalized. By May 1969 the company name was changed to Ward Chocolate Company and was out of Blumenthal family control.