The shape of things to come?
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 97 00:58:17 -0800
Subject: The shape of things to come?
From: Michael Hawley <email@example.com>
I recently bumped into the president of Toblerone, the Swiss chocolate
company, and had a chance to ask him a question that's been bugging me
since I was three:
Why do Toblerone bars come in such an odd shape?
I had my own theory (naturally). Namely, it's because the name is so long
and skinny. Unlike "Nestle" or "Wonka" or "M&M," when you print "T O B L
E R O N E" on a chocolate bar, you get a rather long and skinny bar. Which
tends to break, but the cleverly molded equilateral triangular arch shape
reinforces it beautifully, yet it still breaks into bite-sized morsels.
The bars also pack into hexagonal bricks and honeycombed crates for
shipping. Soon, this became a unique hallmark of the brand. Ingenious,
And, like so many brilliant and ingenious theories, this one turns out to
be 100% wrong. The real reason (which I am not making up) is this.
Apparently, Herr Tobler was quite the ladies' man. He chose a shape he
thought would be particularly appealing to women, for purely anatomical
reasons. Is it any coincidence that in heaven, the Italians (not the
Swiss!) are the lovers? Let's leave it at that.
The Toblerone mold patent was granted in 1909, and the authorizing signature
was none other than that of Albert Einstein, who was clerking at the Patent
Office at the time.
© 1997 Peter Langston