D. L. Clark Co. & The Clark Gum Company History
David L. Clark (1864-1939) was born in Ireland and came to America when he was only eight years old. He entered the candy business working for a small manufacturer in New York. After three years as a salesman, he bought a wagon, horses, and merchandise and went into business for himself.
The D. L. Clark Company was founded in 1886 when Clark started manufacturing candy in two back rooms of a small house in Pittsburgh's North Side. He began selling his candy in the streets of Pittsburgh. During his lifetime, his company became a leading candy manufacturer.
By 1920 the D. L. Clark Company was making about 150 different types of candy, including several five-cent bars, specialty items and a bulk candy line. Clark was also manufacturing chewing gum in a building across the street from his candy factory. In 1921 they incorporated Clark Brothers Chewing Gum Company as a separate business.
The Clark Brothers Chewing Gum Company made Teaberry and Tendermint gum. By 1931, the candy bar business was so large that Clark decided to sell the gum company and it was renamed the Clark Gum Company.
The D. L. Clark Company remained in the hands of the Clark family until it was sold to the Beatrice Food Company, who operated the company until 1983 when it was sold to the Pittsburgh Food and Beverage Company. In 1995 the Pittsburgh Food and Beverage was thrown into bankruptcy. The company was shut down for several months and its assets divested. Restructured as Clark Bar America, the company operated until May of 1999, when it was purchased by New England Confectionery Company (NECCO), the oldest candy manufacturer in the United States.
The Clark Gum Company is still operating under the same name. Click on the packets below for more information about that particular flavor.