Chocolate, as a drink, was a favorite of the Emperor of the Aztecs, Montezuma. The Spanish conquistador, Hernando Cortez, brought the drink back to Spain in 1529. It was favorite drink of the Spanish royalty for many years before becoming consumed widely throughout Europe. Three centuries later chocolate was first used as non-liquid confection in England.
The inventor of 'chocolate for eating' is unknown, but in 1847 Joseph Fry discovered a way to mix cocoa powder, sugar, and cocoa to create a paste that could be pressed into a mould. The resulting Bar was a success. People enjoyed eating the chocolate as much as they did drinking it. The early eating chocolate bars were made of bittersweet chocolate. The Fry's chocolate factory, located in Bristol, began producing the Fry's Chocolate Cream bar in 1866.
John Cadbury created a similar product in 1849, but by today's standards the original bittersweet chocolate bars of neither Fry nor Cadbury would be considered very palatable. Then in 1875, Henry Nestle, a maker of evaporated milk, and Daniel Peter, a chocolate maker, created the more palatable milk chocolate.
In 1879, Rodolphe Lindt began adding cocoa butter back to the chocolate which produced a bar that would hold its hardened shape and would melt upon the tongue.
At the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, chocolate-making machinery made in Germany, was displayed. Milton S. Hershey installed the chocolate machinery in his Lancaster factory and produced the first American-made milk chocolate bar in 1900. During this decade over 220 products were introduced, including manufacture of the first chocolate Easter egg in UK in 1873 and the Fry's Turkish Delight in 1914.
Throughout the end of the 1890's and the early 1900's, other people began mixing in other ingredients to create new candy bars. Real attention to the candy bar was brought during World War I.
In the early-20th century chocolate and candy bars production grew most rapidly. In 1900 the Hershey Company produced the first wrapped chocolate bar, the Hershey bar, which is still produced. A lot of candy bars developed in that era still exist in relatively unchanged form.
During the first half of the 20th century in the United States alone 40.000 different candy bars appeared on the market and this was the decade that was the high point of the candy bar industry.
Today candy bars are manufactured and consumed all over the world, and produced to local tastes and environmental conditions.