HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — While driving into Hershey, Pennsylvania, you may notice something small but very noticeable: the streetlights in the shape of Hershey Kisses.
Some of the Kisses-shaped lights are wrapped and some are unwrapped. But when did this all start? And who is the person behind these famous lights?
According to the Hershey Archives, it all started back in the early 1960s. That was when Hershey Chocolate Corporation President Samuel Hinkle suggested that the town be improved with new lighting.
The archives say that Hinkle was not pleased with the lighting in and around downtown Hershey, and wanted to change it. He had the corporation’s electrical engineer conduct studies and have changes done to make the lighting features “uniquely Hershey.”
The Hershey Archives said that three major manufacturers, Westinghouse, General Electric, and Line Material were asked to create prototype fixtures. During this process, they were asked to make them into the shape of a Hershey’s Kiss.
Ultimately, Line Material was chosen, and it was what can be seen in Hershey to this day. According to Don Chubb, who was a president of the Hershey Rotary and the general manager of the former Hershey Electric Company, the kisses are essentially “globe(s) over top an incandescent bulb”. Chubb stated that Hinkle also wanted to have the little tassel on each kiss rotate like a weather vane, which Line Material added.
The final designs for the lights were approved and a plan was devised for the new lights to be installed on Chocolate Avenue and on a portion of Park Avenue. Then, on Dec. 23, 1963, the lights were turned on for the first time.
The Hershey Archives says that there are 105 streetlights that are in the shape of the Kiss on Chocolate Avenue and that 54 are wrapped, and 51 are unwrapped. There are also 10 on Park Avenue, five wrapped and five unwrapped.
The Hershey Company has also installed these lights at each of its manufacturing plants, according to the archives.