During the late Nineteenth Century, Pittsburgh was home to three titans of industry who played major roles in not only the development of the city but the nations as well. There was Andrew Carnegie, who ruled the steel industry; George Westinghouse, who made railroad travel safer with his braking system and brought electricity to the masses with AC power; and H.J. Heinz, who revolutionized the concept of prepared foods with a plethora of products ranging from horseradish to pickles to ketchup. The impact of the H.J. Heinz Company goes beyond its manufacturing abilities, however, as an expanded 2014 exhibit at the Senator John Heinz History Center clearly demonstrates via both historical artifacts and video chronicles of the food processing giant.
“By the time of his death in 1919, H.J. Heinz’s company had grown into one of the largest food processing businesses in the nation, selling its condiments, sauces, pickles, and preserves all over the world,” the exhibit explains. “The Heinz recipe for success included the following ingredients—a growing market for prepared foods, an innovative spirit, a wide variety of products, commitment to quality, abundant and creative advertising, and enterprising sales techniques.” Although the early childhood of H.J. Heinz and the birth of his company are recounted, the History Center has placed much of its emphasis on those “ingredients,” showing how Heinz impacted more than just the way we purchase ketchup in the process.