Candy History, Nostalgic Candy Favorites

Candy History: Clark Bars

August 29, 2013 by


Clark Bars are an American institution near and dear to our black-and-gold Pittsburgh Hearts. They were formulated right here in our hometown of McKeesport, PA at the turn of the century by a gentleman named David L. Clark. The candy bar was originally made just a few blocks from the warehouse where our candy company has  resided since 1927! Since our founder Ernest Prince was friendly with Mr. Clark, we were probably the very FIRST candy wholesalers in the nation to offer this treat.

The company later changed its name to “DL Clark Company” and moved to downtown Pittsburgh. It graced the city with an illuminated candy-bar sign and remained until 1955 when it was acquired by Beatrice Foods. Over the years, they would be acquired by Leaf Confections and then again by Hershey, who returned the candy bar and its headquarters to its roots in Pittsburgh. It remained for three short but blissful years until New England Confectionary Company acquired it.

vintage clark candy bar pittsburghDespite Clark’s many owners and a few controversial ingredient changes (that were fortunately reversed), Clark Bars remain a tried-and-true classic combination of crunchy peanut butter and creamy milk chocolate. Today, this retro candy qualifies as a piece of edible Americana.

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  • Reply Phil Rossi September 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Pittsburgh tridition

  • Reply Lew Wickman June 22, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I am 66. The fact I got to be this age CONSTANTLY amazes me. Don’t ask why it would be too embarrassing to explain!
    My father was a cab driver for Yellow cab when I was around 5 or 6. Mom always stuffed me in the 1955 Pontiac for the drive to the Cab company to pick him up at 2 or 3 AM. (HEY, I was 5!) The Clark Candy factory was right next door and I can STILL recall the sweet smell of the chocolate as I sat in the back seat waiting for Dad to get off. I still eat Clark bars to this day!

  • Reply Rich Christensen November 9, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    I grew up in Pittsburgh. I will always remember the 5th grade field trip to the Clark Candy Factory on the North Side. Clark Bars, Zagnuts, Teaberry gum to name a few. Great times, great candy

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