Whitman’s is one of the largest and oldest brands of boxed chocolates in the United States. Whitman’s confections have been produced since 1842, originally by Stephen Whitman in Philadelphia and currently by Kansas City, Missouri-based Russell Stover Candies.ư

The company’s milestones:

1842 – Stephen F. Whitman opens a small retail “Confectionary and Fruiterer Shop” at Third and Market Streets at Philadelphia.  He hopes to compete with the finer French candy makers of the time.

1854 – “Choice Mixed Sugar Plums” from Stephen F. Whitman becomes the first packaged confection in a printed, marked box-now known as a “trademarked” package.



1860 – Whitman’s first newspaper advertisement, a novelty during the era, appears on December 29th-three months prior to the beginning of The Civil War.

1877 – “Whitman’s Instantaneous Sweet Chocolate”, its first of many famous tin-boxed chocolates, is introduced to the public.

1912 – Whitman’s Sampler® makes it’s official debut.  The Sampler® box includes a collection of the most popular pieces of candy sold in the confectionary shop.  Whitman’s becomes the first in its industry to use cellophane to wraps its packaged products.

1915 – Just three years after its introduction, the Whitman’s Sampler® emerges as the most popular assortment in the Whitman’s line and the best-selling box of chocolates in America.



Between 1942-45 – Whitman’s send six million pounds of chocolate to overseas servicemen in Land, Sea & Air tins.  Women on Whitman’s production lines slip notes into boxes to comfort the fighting men.  Many of these letters result in long-term friendships and even some post-war marriages.

1945 – The Sampler® box is enhanced through the introduction of the “French Edge”, with the top and bottom edges extending beyond the sides of the box. This packaging modification becomes the hallmark of all fine candy, and remains a signature of the Sampler® box to this day.

1991 – Whitman’s Candies becomes a permanent fixture in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.



2001 – In keeping with Whitman’s tradition of sending chocolates with hand-written notes to troops for encouragement, Whitman’s sent 6000 boxes with notes to troops following the terrorist attack against the United States on 9/11/2001.

2014 – Lindt & Sprungli, manufacturer of premium quality chocolates worldwide, acquires Russell Stover Candies and Whitman’s Candies.

According to russellstover.com; en. Wikipedia. com.