In the first interview of two, Rowe describes his childhood in Reading, Pennsylvania, his parents and siblings. He vividly recalls his secondary school education as well as his experiences at St. Joseph’s University and Lehigh University. Rowe details his early employment history and his military service. In 1952, he began working for Hershey Chocolate Corporation as a research chemist. He discusses the laboratory, his co-workers and supervisors, including Robert Schock and Samuel Hinkle, and his early projects. Rowe initially began to investigate how Hershey’s chocolate acquires its distinctive flavor. He then worked on the product development of Hershey’s Instant, before becoming involved with quality control. Rowe oversaw quality control of product packaging to determine if the color was within accepted standards and analyzed if packaging and ink impacted the flavor of the chocolate.