Whitman's is one of the world's largest and oldest chocolate production companies.
Originally a "confetionery and fruiterer shoppe" set up in 1842 by 19 year old Stephen F. Whitman on a Philadelphia waterfront, Whitman's first became popular with travelling sailors and their wives. They would often bring imported fruits, nuts and cocoa from their trips back to Mr. Whitman so that he could make the popular European confections people craved in that era. Before long Whitman's chocolates were popular all along the north-eastern section of the United States.
The first actual box of Whitman's Chocolates was produced in 1854. It was a box of sugar plums adorned with curlicues and rosebuds. Whitman then began advertising in newspapers, shortly before the beginning of the Civil War. The business thrived and in 1866 an entire building at 12th and Market Streets in Philadelphia was taken over by the company.
Whitman's has since enjoyed over 160 years of chocolate production. They have also maintained a longstanding tradition of supporting American servicemen and servicewomen during wartime. During World War I millions of tins were shipped to American soldiers throughout the world. During World War II, women at the Whitman's production line secretly slipped handwritten notes of encouragement into candy boxes to help soothe soldiers' homesickness.