On Thursday, 7 January, the Boston Athenaeum will host a lecture by Anthony M. Sammarco on “The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History,” which is also the title of his new book. The talk will start at 12:00 noon. It’s free, but one must reserve a spot by calling 617-720-7600.
The event description says:
The Baker Chocolate Company was founded along the Neponset River in 1765 by Dr. James Baker and James Hannon, a skilled chocolate maker. Over the next two centuries, the company became one of the leading manufacturers of chocolate and cocoa in North America.I’ve seen notices of similar talks by Mr. Sammarco at other venues, too.
The Baker chocolate factory in Dorchester is often said to be the first in North America. However, the descendants of Joseph Palmer of Braintree wrote that a chocolate factory was among the workshops he and Richard Cranch erected in the Germantown section of that town before the Revolution. And other Bostonians were advertising chocolate in the newspapers as early as the 1720s.
I’m not sure how the Baker Chocolate Company documentation stacks up against the rest. The company has not been shy about promoting its history. Then again, neither were the Palmer descendants.