Molds began appearing in the late 1840s to early 1850s in Europe. In the late 1880s, U.S. companies began manufacturing chocolate molds, but Germany remained the largest supplier to the U.S. until the early 1900s. During the First World War, U.S. firms began to gain more ground against their European counterparts.
The design of molds often followed the trends of the time. The “classic period” of 1880-1910 consisted of very realistic pieces made to resemble an object as closely as possible. Chocolatiers would often set up small vignettes depicting a complicated scene. These were time consuming and painstakingly complicated. From 1910-1930, molds were redesigned to be simpler and rounder in appearance. Fantasy began replacing realism. The mechanical design of the molds also began to change to accommodate changes in technology, such as new rotary machines that were developed to spin multiple molds at the same time to evenly distribute the chocolate.