Branford House Antiques
A Historic 1850s Farmhouse on a Scenic Vermont Dairy Farm

Baker's Chocolate Pencil Sharpener

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This is La Belle Chocolatiere (Baker's Chocolate trademark logo). It is a painted cast iron pencil sharpener from the late 1880s or thereabouts. It is approximately 2 inches tall and 1 inch wide. It is working and most of the original paint is still quite vibrant.

While the Baker's Chocolate Company was started in 1765 by John Hannon and Dr. James Baker in Dorchester, Massachusetts, it wasn't called the Baker's Chocolate Company until Dr. Baker purchased Hannon's share of the business from from his widow after Hannon's death in 1780.

The La Belle Chocoiatiere trademark logo was adopted in 1883 and soon thereafter all types of incentive merchandise give aways featuring this new logo were used to promote the brand. They included tableware, logo pins, this pencil sharpener and a few other items and were widely used until 1896 when the Baker family sold the company to the Forbes Syndicate. Some time later the company was sold to the Postum Cereal Company (General Foods). In 1969 the company and production facilities were moved to Dover, Delaware and in 1989 Kraft Foods acquired General Mills.

Baker's Chocolate, having started business in 1765 and before the United States was born, is among a very few of the oldest American companies still in business.


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