Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Pool postcard: Hershey Park swimming pool, Hershey Pennsylvania
The information on the reverse of the card reads:
"Hershey teaches its employees not only how to work but how to play. In Hershey Park there is ecevry facility for indoor and outdoor sport. The Hershey Park pool, with its fifty-foot coaster, will accommodate several thousand bathers."
Hershey Park (now called Hersheypark) was founded in 1907 by Milton S. Hershey, as a leisure park for the employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company. It is now a full scale amusement park.
On this blog, Hershey Community Archives, we learn that the first concrete pool was constructed in 1911, and a few years later the pool was enlarged the wooden toboggan ride, visible in the postcard was added. The postcard seems to date from that era.
In 1929 a new pool complex (circular baby pool, diving poool, swimming pool and wading pool) was added. From the pool you could hear the great bands in the adjacent Ballroom - the likes of Jimmy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and Harry James.
The pool was closed following the 1971 summer season. Today all that remains is an ornamental lighthouse.
I think this is also an interesting artefact from the days of "corporate towns", when the company provided for the welfare of its employees, rather along the lines of Robert Owen's early vision in New Lanark, or the Port Sunlight (built by the Lever Borthers of Sunlight Soap fame) in England.
I collect vintage postcards of swimming pools. I plan to post one a day as far as possible. If you know any of these places, especially the fate of the pool, I'd love to hear from you!