Although chocolate has been around for centuries, chocolate molds, like the personalized chocolate molds we sell in Bucks County, are a relatively new phenomenon.
We’ve talked quite a bit here on the history of different candies, but we haven’t really touched on chocolate molds. So in this blog post, we’re traveling to 19th century Europe to explore this unique form of candy-making.
The first chocolate molds
The first chocolate molds showed up in France in the 1830s, a century before Stutz began working with its chocolate molds. Montgomery County or Bucks County.
These first molds were made from stamped sheet copper and typically measured less than inch in diameter, producing simple geometric shapes for mass-market candy production. Eventually, the molds became more elaborate, allowing candy makers to produce animal shapes.
“The first three dimensional molds, sometimes called ‘double molds,’ arrived, again in France, in the mid-1840’s,” write the bloggers at Dad’s Follies, one of the largest and oldest antique metal mold companies in the world, and a leading authority on our subject matter.
“Stamped out of copper and silver washed, these molds ranged in size from an inch-and-a-half to well over 18 inches tall. Made from two or more pieces, these molds were usually held together with inexpensive hand clamps—we refer to these clamps today as “clips.” (Occasionally the chocolatier would have the mold, or molds, mounted in a sturdy frame to assist in manufacturing the candy.) Sometime around the late 1860’s, the silver wash was replaced by “tinning” (molten tin flowed over the mold) because tin was less expensive than silver, and the tinning would last longer than the silver wash.”
Chocolate molds become big business
In the 1960s, chocolate makers began using plastic molds, which involved a totally different manufacturing process than with metal molds. It’s the method still used today. If you’ve enjoyed a chocolate bunny this past Easter, it was because of this kind of mold.
“For a time, both plastic and metal chocolate molds competed, but by the 1980’s plastic had dominated and metal chocolate molds were made no more,” Dad’s Follies writes. “Thankfully, collectors stepped in and preserved the history.”
And that history is pretty impressive. In the 1870s, the German manufacturer Anton Reiche – considered the premier mold maker of the era – made more than 50,000 different mold designs for almost any conceivable occasion.
(We browsed e-Bay while writing this and found Anton Reiche chocolate molds in the shape of:
- Hot dogs
- Santa’s sleigh
- A rooster
- A race car
- Various eggs and Easter bunnies
- An antique pistol
- An alarm clock
Some of these antique molds sell for $10 or $20, while others have been valued in the thousands.
Personalized chocolate molds from Stutz
You won’t need to spend thousands of dollars to enjoy the chocolate molds we produce here at Stutz. With our personalized chocolate molds, Bucks County and Philadelphia area customers can celebrate birthdays, holidays or a host of other special occasions.
Whether you’re looking for a specialized gift or just craving some chocolate of your own, we have you covered, no matter the occasion. Shop our online store or visit us at our chocolate shops in the Philadelphia area and the Jersey Shore to taste for yourself.