A few weeks ago I visited the Duane Michals exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Art. It was a wonderful collection of photos and information about an artist born and raised in McKeesport, so close to my hometown of Elizabeth. The roots of hard work and steel show in his work, but what I enjoyed most were the photos of that included so many food products that were once produced in the Pittsburgh area.
Vimco pasta, once made in Collier, was a Western Pennsylvania staple. The Viviano Macaroni Company began in 1917 and was sold to Borden in 1985. In 1991, all operations were moved to St. Louis.
Up until the mid-90s, Heinz mustard was made in their North Side plant. If you grew up in the area in the 60s, then you surely remember the amazing field trips to Heinz and Town Talk bread. Each student went home with a sampler kit of ketchup, mustard and relish and a bag of squishy Town Talk and a bakery hat. Those were the days. For some memories of the Heinz days, check out the North Side video from the library and enjoy.
There’s a lot more in this photo . . .Iron City Beer, Klondikes, and even Clark Bars, which are now owned by the Necco company and manufactured in New England.
Although the exhibit finished on February 16, you can see more of Michal’s work in the book titled Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals. It is really worth a look.