An animated stage show dramatized "the story of strained baby food." The "Aristocrat Tomato Man," an animated Heinz character, sang, nodded his tomato head, and smacked his lips. A series of six plaques depicted the company's progress in food preparation.
70 Years of Good Eating - The History of Heinz
- The hydroponic (known at the time as chemiculture) tomatoes had their own attendant who took their temperature and fed them daily. Planted in pure white sand or chemically treated water, they grew to between three and four feet tall. One plant produced twenty-eight tomatoes.
However, the experiment caused a number of problems for the exhibitors. Samuel Galloway Hibbon of the Westinghouse Corporation suggested placing 150-watt reflector lamps above the plants. They flourished! G. H. Van Vecten, a plant physiologist, discovered looping caterpillars had infiltrated the carefully controlled environment through a microscopic hole adjoining the next room. A chemically safe insecticide did the trick.
- Following in the tradition of its successful distribution of miniature pickle pins at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, the pavilion continued this practice in "The World of Tomorrow." During the first two weeks, fairgoers gobbled up 65,000 of the green souvenirs and 2,000,000 by early August.
- The pavilion did not distribute free pickles to its visitors but did provide tastes of its soup, baked beans, tomato juice and spaghetti sauce. Dorothy Kilgore, a home economics major and dietician, oversaw the forty-three hostesses who distributed the Heinz products.
- An observant waitress in a Manhattan sandwich shop discovered a tomato shaped like the Trylon and Persiphere in a crate of normal tomatoes. She sent it to the Heinz pavilion for display.
- M. Fluegelman, the dean of New York hat makers, created the record-breaking, out-sized top hat for the displays Aristocrat Tomato Man.
New York Times, March 26, 1940:
"Harvey Gibson, chairman of the Fair's board of directors, announced that the H. J. Heinz Company again will participate this year. Because of the large attendance last year, Howard Heinz, president of the company, said the exhibits in the building would be enlarged. The "Goddess of Perfection," sixteen feet in height, a sculpture of Raymond G. Barger, will be placed on top of the Heinz dome. The sculpture, which was inside the dome last year, will be visible from many parts of the grounds with its new elevation of 130 feet."
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