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Incredible Inventions

Chocolate bar

Inventors: Arthur Ganong (1877-1960), George Ensor (1868?-1929)

Photograph of Walter, Edwin, Will and Arthur Ganong, 1895

The sons of James Ganong, 1895; Walter and Edwin (standing), Will and Arthur (seated)

While chocolate has been around for centuries, it wasn't until two Canadian friends went fishing that the world was introduced to the chocolate bar. James and Gilbert Ganong founded the Ganong candy factory in St. Stephen, New Brunswick in 1873. As the legend goes, James' son Arthur teamed up with Ganong candy maker George Ensor to make long moulded pieces of chocolate mixed with nuts. Arthur and George wrapped the pieces to take them along on a fishing trip. Realizing that covering the chocolate in a protective wrapper was an ideal way to carry chocolate around, the Ganong factory began to produce and sell the world's first five-cent chocolate bars. An 1898 Ganong price list includes a five-cent chocolate bar, although it may not have been individually packaged. Ganong began selling the first individually wrapped chocolate bars in 1910.

Photograph of a Ganong storefront in Quebec, 1934

A 1934 Ganong storefront in Quebec

Ganong's candy box, designed by Franklin Carmichael, featuring a floral design and hand lettering reading GANONG'S PRIMROSE ASSORTMENT

Ganong's candy box, designed by Franklin Carmichael


Folster, David. The Chocolate Ganongs of St. Stephen, New Brunswick. St. Stephen, N.B.: Ganongs, 1999.

Hughes, Susan. Canada Invents. Toronto: Owl Books, 2002.

Spencer, Bev. Made in Canada: 101 Amazing Achievements. Toronto: Scholastic Canada, 2003.