March 3, 2020: The Holland Museum’s new exhibit, Heinz in Holland: A Story with Heart, is highlighting one of the oldest factories still-operating in the area.
Founder, HJ Heinz’s motto was, Heart power is stronger than horsepower. His legacy was putting people before profits. Heinz hired women early in their history to sort pickles and had POWs working at the plant during WWII. During WWI, the company offered life insurance for employees that fought abroad, and they have a history of hiring immigrants.
The Holland Heinz plant was opened in 1897. Holland was selected as the site for the Heinz pickle production plant because the people of Holland were persuasive, and the local famers were able to commit acreage of land for growing cucumbers.
“We are excited to bring this company’s rich history to our community and celebrate the legacy of HJ Heinz,” says Ricki Levine, executive director of the Museum.
Included in the exhibit will be a small pickle pin. Heinz was a marketing innovator who encouraged people to attend their booth at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago by offering a free souvenir. Tucked away on the second floor of the Agriculture Pavilion, the Heinz pickle pin was so popular, the police had to assist with crowd control and the second floor had to be reinforced to accommodate the weight. While the design has changed throughout the years, Heinz still uses the pickle pins for marketing.
Holland Museum exhibit programs include:
-Made in the Mitten: Savoring Michigan’s Rich Agricultural and Foodie History with Dianna Stampfler on April 16.
-Heinz Holland: A Story of Survival and Success lecture with Jerry Shoup on May 14
-Invent your own recycled planter with (Planting in Spark!Lab), a family program on June 4
This exhibit is on display March 13 through August 16, 2020 and is sponsored by Heinz/Kraft and Chemical Bank.
About the Holland Museum: The Holland Historical Trust’s mission is Preserving our
Past, Imagining our Future. The Holland Museum is located at the corner of 10th Street
and River Avenue, across from Centennial Park at 31 West 10th Street. For more
information, please call (616) 796-3329.