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H. J. Heinz Company

H. J. Heinz Company, commonly known as just Heinz, famous for its "57 Varieties" slogan, was founded in 1869 by Henry John Heinz in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania. Heinz, then 25 years old, began by delivering processed condiments to local grocers by horse-drawn wagon. The company's first product was horseradish, followed by pickles, sauerkraut, and vinegar.

The company was initially named the Anchor Pickle and Vinegar Works, and was run by Heinz and partner L. C. Noble. The name changed to Heinz, Noble & Company in 1872 when E. J. Noble joined on and the company relocated to nearby Pittsburgh.

After a banking panic forced him into bankruptcy in 1875, Heinz restarted his business with the help of his brother John and his cousin Frederick, and in and the following year they introduced what would become its most well-known product: tomato ketchup. The new company was known as F. & J. Heinz until 1888, when Henry bought controlling interest from his brother and gave the business its current name.

The company's famous slogan, "57 Varieties", was chosen by Henry Heinz in 1869 after he saw an advertisement for "21 varieties of shoes" in an elevated train car in New York. In actuality, the company was producing over sixty different products at the time, but Heinz chose the number 57 for what his biographer called "occult" reasons.

In 1919 Henry Heinz died, and control of the company passed to his son, Howard Heinz, who was then succeeded by H. J. Heinz II in 1941. By 1972, sales had reached the billion dollar mark. Today, Heinz sells more than 1300 products worldwide.

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