Friday, February 15, 2013

All things Heinz

Lots of coverage of the Heinz news.   All I will add is mostly from a post here more than a few years ago about Heinz during World War II

Below are some pictures of Pittsburgh's Heinz plant during World War II when it converted some of its facility to making gliders. So those D-Day troops who landed behind the front lines via gliders most likely delivered in Pittsburgh-made aircraft. Note the picture of a shop floor at Heinz during the war with more than a few women working.

From: Men and Women of Wartime Pittsburgh. Frank C. Harper
What I also mentioned in the original post was a fleeting reference to Mexican workers brought to Pittsburgh during World War II specifically to work at the Pittsburgh Heinz plants making gliders. There were severe shortages of skilled wood workers here during the war, shortages of all workers for that matter. I have tried to pull the thread on that bit of workforce history.  I will occassionaly have conversations with people who remember this vaguely, or see very fleeting references out in the ether, but thus far I have not really found any hard references.  If there were Mexican workers here, it was most likely as part of the much larger Bracero program the Federal goverment stated in 1942 to bring Mexican workers here because of the wartime demand for workers.  The program continued after the war until the mid 1960s. If anyone has any hard information, or even detailed oral history, I would love to hear about it.


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