Fry's "Five Boys" Milk Chocolate Ad Sign Trucker Hat
Image from a pre-1911 book, so out of copyright. (The book was "Pictures in Colour of Isle of Wight" by Jarrold & Sons, Ltd.) J. S. Fry & Sons, Ltd. was a British chocolate company owned by Joseph Storrs Fry and his family. This business moved through several names and hands before ending up as J. S. Fry & Sons. In 1847, the Fry's chocolate factory, located in Union Street, Bristol, England, moulded the first ever chocolate bar suitable for widespread consumption. The firm began producing the Fry's Chocolate Cream bar in 1866. Over 220 products were introduced in the following decades, including production of the first chocolate Easter egg in UK in 1873 and the Fry's Turkish Delight (or Fry's Turkish bar) in 1914. In 1896 the firm became a registered private company. It was run by the Fry family, with Joseph Storrs Fry II, grandson of the first Joseph Storrs Fry, as the chairman. Near the start of World War I the company was one of the largest employers in Bristol. Joseph Storrs Fry II died in 1913. By 1919 the company merged with Cadbury's chocolate and the joint company named British Cocoa and Chocolate Company. The Fry's division began the move to Somerdale, Keynsham in 1923. After 1981 the name Fry's was no longer in use at Somerdale, but the factory is still a major producer of Cadbury's products. Chocolate comprises a number of raw and processed foods produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America, with its earliest documented use around 1100 BC. The majority of the Mesoamerican peoples made chocolate beverages, including the Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl, a Nahuatl word meaning "bitter water". The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form. Because this cocoa mass usually is liquefied then molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids (and thus does not qualify to be considered true chocolate). Cocoa solids contain alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have physiological effects on the body. It has been linked to serotonin levels in the brain. Some research found that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate has recently been promoted for its health benefits, including a substantial amount of antioxidants that reduce the formation of free radicals, although current scientific evidence is against health improvements by dietary antioxidants. The presence of theobromine renders it toxic to some animals, especially dogs and cats. Chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes have become traditional on certain holidays: chocolate bunnies and eggs are popular on Easter, chocolate coins on Hanukkah, Santa Claus and other holiday symbols on Christmas, and hearts on Valentine's Day. Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages, to produce chocolate milk and hot chocolate. The world's top producer of cacao beans is Africa, where recent controversy has focused on the use of child labor in cocoa production.