Advertisement for cocoa products manufactured by J S Fry & Sons
Printer: Barclay & Fry
Dr Joseph Fry, a Quaker apothecary with remarkable business acumen, took advantage of the opportunity presented by the deaths of the Bristol chocolate manufacturer, Walter Churchman and his son Charles to purchase their patent on a water engine and recipes for making fine chocolate. At first, the cocoa and chocolate business was run from Joseph Fry's apothecary shop in Small Street, Bristol. After Joseph's death in 1787, the business passed to his wife, Anna and subsequently to his son, Joseph Storrs Fry who, with his three sons, considerably expanded the family business under the name of J S Fry & Sons.
In 1847, the firm produced an early version of a chocolate bar, which, by 1853, had evolved into the product later well known as Fry's Chocolate Cream. By 1884, as this advertisement proudly states, J S Fry & Sons could claim 17 prize medals and enjoy their status as manufacturers to the Queen and Prince of Wales. The illustrations show that chocolate production had now become a large-scale operation, taking full advantage of mechanical and technological innovations to produce a high volume of output at a most competitive price.