My topic is Heinz Ketchup. As some of you may know I have a strong connection to Pittsburgh. During my most recent trip to Pittsburgh I realized that I didn’t know much about Pittsburgh besides sports. I thought a great way to learn more about Pittsburgh would be to do a Pittsburgh related I-Search project. Initially I was going to write a paper and title it The History of Pittsburgh, but people told me that it was a bad idea and that it would be 700 pages if I wrote it thoroughly. Then I decided to do my report on the industries of Pittsburgh, and since Mrs. Bisson thought Ketchup would be the most interesting I decided to do my I-Search on ketchup.
Each time I drive through Pittsburgh on my way to my grandma’s house in White Oak, Pennsylvania I pass huge brick buildings with tall smokestacks and wonder why they are there and what is going on inside of the brick buildings. Some are steel mills and some are part of the Heinz headquarters in Pittsburgh. I think that doing my I-Search on a topic that relates to those buildings can give me a better understanding of all the things I’ve wondered about Pittsburgh.
I arrived at my final question by modifying my original question. Which I got to by combining my interest on the industries of Pittsburgh in relation to Pittsburgh and my teacher’s opinion on which industry she thought would be the most interesting (HJ Heinz Company). My original question was, “What is HJ Heinz Company’s impact on Pittsburgh?” Then I tweaked it so that it focused on the history of Heinz a little more. My dad yelled at me for picking that topic and it felt like I would never get that done, but by devoting long days to I-Search I got my report into good shape. My current question is “What is the history of HJ Heinz Company and how do industries like it affect the cities they are located in?”
At first I started looking at mostly web articles and focused on the economical impact of Heinz on Pittsburgh. Then I realized that there weren’t going to be many books or articles about the impact of Heinz on Pittsburgh so I decided to try and interview an economist on the ways an industry can affect a city and find out how the different ways industries affect cities apply to Heinz. But I couldn’t find an economist to interview, so I got frustrated and decided to focus on the history of Heinz and I thought that I would give my opinion on the ways Heinz affects Pittsburgh.
After I decided to redirect my research I went to the library to look for some books on my topic, there were many books and the librarians had many other resources to show me. Some resources that stood out to me were periodical clippings from Western Pennsylvania that had been bound together in a red book stored in the San Francisco Public Library. These bounded magazine clippings also included many detailed illustrations of Heinz related artifacts.
Next I started to worry about my interviews a lot more and did some cold calling. A while...