Small objects of desire
The perception of innovation is often tied to science and engineering on a grand scale – but discovery doesn’t have to be world-changing to have an impact. Consider the case of JS Fry & Son who, in 1847 invented something much-loved and ubiquitous in the modern world: the chocolate bar.
Based in Bristol, the Fry family had been making chocolate in industrial quantities since the 18th Century, grinding cocoa beans with a Watt steam engine. In 1847 their ‘chocolate delicieux a manger’ became the first recognized chocolate bar. Fry’s mixed cocoa powder, sugar and cocoa butter to produce chocolate that could be moulded into a bar shape. Fry’s early moulded chocolate was was frequently poured over fruit-flavoured cores, and thus the chocolate bar was born.