Ghost Signs: Van Houten's Cocoa

Ceonraad Johannes Van Houten is the creator of modern cocoa powder. In the early-to-mid 19th century, he created a new process to make chocolate production easier. He was also the inventor of Dutch chocolate.

It began in Holland, but by the end of the 19th century, Van Houten had spread across Europe and eventually made it to New York and Chicago. By 1900, it was one of the top ten famous brands in the United States.

Four ghost signs are still visible in Chicago, albeit faintly, at 1481 W. Erie Street in West Town, 2001 W. Division Street in Wicker Park, 1103 W. Webster Avenue and 1971 N. Halsted in Lincoln Park. Although these signs are probably a century old, Van Houten Cocoa is still produced today.

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