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The History List

Heritage Chocolate Antique Gift Set + chocolate assortment


Updated November 13: All four antique boxes, which we announced the evening of November 11, have been sold.

We do have many other gift sets with American Heritage Chocolate to choose from.

An assortment of delicious American Heritage Chocolate along with an original wooden box and recipe booklet from the first company to make chocolate in America, Walter Baker & Co. in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Original wooden box and historic recipe book, both antiques

The four wooden boxes we collected are beautifully made, finger-jointed solid wood boxes that are stenciled with the Walter Baker & Co. marks. Each shows the wear it's experienced. (As you see in the photos, one is remarkable in that it looks as if it was barely used.)

We have two in each of these sizes (outside dimensions):

  • Tall: 7½" H x 7½" x 11"
  • Short: 5½" H x 8¼" x 12"

Each comes with the recipe booklet indicated: 1914 (64 pages), 1925 (64 pages), and two from 1932 (60 pages). The contents are very similar.  The plain blue cover on the booklet printed in 1932 may be reflection of the economic sensibilities of people struggling through the Great Depression.

As with the box, these are original and all are in good shape for being about 100 years old. 

We have paired them as indicated.  Note that the recipe booklet isn't meant to indicate the date of the box it's paired with. (We haven't found a way to determine the date of manufacture of each box.)

American Heritage chocolate assortment

The American Heritage chocolate we offered this Valentine's Day was extremely popular, and so we brought back the squares and added packages of baking chocolate and coca.

Here's what people said about the squares:

Delicious . . .  I gave this to my daughter on Valentines Day and she absolutely LOVED it . . . These were a perfect gift for my wife. . . . A huge hit! . . . I would buy them again in a heartbeat.


If you're a chocolate lover, you're in for a treat. 

The chocolate is unlike anything else you've ever had. The dark chocolate squares include cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, and other flavors that accent the chocolate.

And a note to clarify the history: We thought it would be fun to pair the delicious modern day chocolate with the history of the oldest chocolate maker in America, but the American Heritage Chocolate is not from the Walter Baker Co. or its present day corporate owner.

Each gift pack contains the following:

  • Original wooden, finger-jointed Walter Baker & Co, Ltd box
  • Walter Baker & Co, Ltd "Best Chocolate Recipes" booklet
  • 12 oz pack of American Heritage finely grated baking chocolate
  • 12 oz pack of American Heritage gourmet hot cocoa
  • 10 pcs American Heritage chocolate tasting squares
  • 1 Boston Tea Party 250th anniversary tea towel—Our original design on a 100% cotton towel, unbleached, made in America.

Shipping: There is a shipping charge of $10 for each of these gift sets.

If you are giving this as a gift, you can have it sent directly to the gift recipient by selecting the gift option at check out. You can also add a gift message. The packing slip will not show the price.

Historical background

"The company was established when a physician named Dr. James Baker met John Hannon on the banks of the Neponset River. Irishman John Hannon was penniless but was a skilled chocolatier, a craft he had learned in England and which was, until that point, exclusive to Europe. With Baker's help, Hannon set up a business where he produced "Hannon's Best Chocolate" for 15 years. In 1779, Hannon went to the West Indies and never returned. His wife sold the company in 1780 to Dr. Baker, who changed the name to Baker Chocolate Company.

"Dr. James Baker's son, Edmund (1770–1846), and his son, Colonel Walter (1792–1852), successfully carried on the business. The chocolate was marketed with a guaranteed money-back policy if the customers were not one hundred percent satisfied with their purchase. Colonel Walter Baker had studied law at Harvard College and thus had the name "Baker's" legally protected for future generations of this family business."

Source: Wikipedia

James Baker

"James Baker was born September 5, 1739, and owing to the gentleness of his disposition, his parents were induced to fit him for the ministry.  With this in view he went through Harvard college, graduating in 1760, and then began to study theology with the Rev. Jonathan Bowman, the minister of Dorchester, whose son-in-law he afterwards became.  While fitting for his profession, Mr. Baker taught school, and this delayed him in getting started in the ministry. 

"It soon became apparent that his extreme diffidence would prevent him from performing the duties of a minister; so he voluntarily gave up the idea, and began to study medicine, teaching school at intervals during this period. 

"The profession of medicine, however, proved distasteful to him; and he laid in a stock of merchandise, and opened a store.  In  1780, he saw that there were great possibilities in the chocolate business; so he closed his store, and began to manufacture chocolate. 

"The success of this undertaking as remarkable, and “Baker’s Chocolate” has been manufactured ever since, now being known in all parts of the world.  By careful attention to his business, and fortunate investments, Mr. Baker became a rich man, and retired on his wealth.  The latter part of his life was devoted to reading and study in his library.  He died January 2, 1825."

Source: Good Old Dorchester: A Narrative History of the Town, 1630-1893. By William Dana Orcutt. 

German chocolate

"In 1852 Sam German developed a dark sweet baking chocolate for the Baker Chocolate Company. One hundred five years later Mrs. George Clay of Dallas, Texas, submitted her recipe for German’s Chocolate Cake to the “Recipe of the Day” column at The Dallas Morning News. Published on June 3, 1957, the recipe is a chocolate layer cake, filled and topped with a coconut-pecan frosting. General Foods, which owned the Baker brand at that time, publicized the recipe across the country."

Source: Dorchester Atheneum 2


For shipments to addresses within the U.S. (scroll down for International shipping) 

Flat-rate shipping: Regardless of the number of items you order, the shipping price for shirts, caps, unframed prints and posters, bracelets, lapel pins, pendants, and button packs is $5.95.

For hooded and crewneck sweatshirts, mugs, and blankets, the shipping cost is $8.95. 

Our flat rate shipping means you can add two or more t-shirts, sweatshirts, or caps for no additional shipping charge.

Note that some large or heavy items, including larger framed prints, may have a different shipping charge or a shipping surcharge. When they do, it will be noted on the product page.



We try to ship orders within three business days of receiving them. This applies to in-stock items. Framed items or items requiring personalization may take up to two weeks longer. If there is an extended delay, it will be noted on the product page.

We close for a week over Independence Day and Christmas. A notice will appear at the top of every page of the site in advance of this closure.

We ship most orders via USPS, so if the post office is closed, we won't be shipping orders that day.

If you need to receive your order by a certain date, such as to give as a gift or have for a trip, we recommend ordering at least two weeks in advance, especially if you are using USPS shipping. 

If you're looking for reliable, on-time deliveries, we strongly suggest upgrading to "UPS 3 Business Day Select Shipping."

Additional notes:

  • When fulfillment takes longer, such as around the Christmas holidays, we'll put up an announcement in the site and will list recommended shipping deadlines below.
  • If an item is out of stock, we will contact you.
  • If one of your items is an advance order, that will be noted on the product page along with an estimate of when it will ship. If that estimated date changes, the product page will be updated.

    Charges for shipping to destinations in the United States and to APO, DPO, and FPO addresses

    • Free shipping
      • On stickers, magnets, decals, patches, static clings, and individual button pins.

    • US Postal Service shipping - The least expensive, though also less reliable than UPS. (See more on UPS in the next section.) 

      • $5.95 for shirts, caps, unframed prints and posters, bracelets, lapel pins, pendants, button packs.

        Regardless of the number of items you order, the shipping price is still fixed at $5.95. Our flat rate shipping means you can add another t-shirt, cap, or book for no additional shipping charge.

      • $8.95 for hooded and crewneck sweatshirts, mugs, and blankets.

    We strongly recommend using UPS, especially in November and December.

      UPS 3 Business Day Select 

      Note: UPS 3 Business Day select is not available for addresses in Hawaii and Alaska. If UPS is selected for Hawaii or Alaska, the order will be shipped UPS Ground.

      Cut off time: Orders received by 8 am Eastern will ship the same business day.  Orders received after that time will ship the next business day. Applies to in-stock items that do not require personalization or signing. 
        UPS's normal (non-holiday) delivery guarantee is by the end of the third business day, and this includes delivery on Saturday.  This applies to the 48 contiguous states. 
          • $14.95 for shirts, caps, unframed prints and posters, bracelets, lapel pins, pendants, button packs.

          • $18.95 for hooded and crewneck sweatshirts, mugs, and blankets.

          • If the actual shipping cost is significantly higher than what we’re charging, we will contact you to discuss alternatives.

        • UPS Overnight (Next Business Day Delivery)
        Before placing your order, call 469-233-7712.

        For shipments to addresses outside the United States


        We only ship to locations that are served by US Postal Service International Service.


        • Canada and Mexico

          • $18.00 for shirts, caps, unframed prints and posters, bracelets, lapel pins, pendants, button packs.
          • $24.00 for hooded and crewneck sweatshirts, mugs, and blankets.

        • Rest of the World

          • Rates starts at $65.00.

        Additional charges for all destinations

        Some large, heavy items may have an additional shipping charge.  If that's the case, it will be noted on the product page.

        If the actual shipping cost is significantly higher than what we’re charging, we will contact you to discuss alternatives.

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