Heinz credited his mother for his strong faith and work ethic, and for his love of motivational proverbs and aphorisms that he called “mottoes.” He used them to decorate his company office, stained glass windows at the factory, and company exhibitions. Over time they became a part of the culture and guiding principles of the Heinz company and were used long after his death. The most enduring of his personal mottoes: “To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success.”
Why 57? The most often-told story is that H.J. Heinz created the Heinz 57 trademark after spotting a sign advertising “21 Styles of Shoes” while riding an elevated train in New York City in 1896. Captivated, he decided to advertise Heinz products in a similar way. Heinz began counting, and stopped at 57, even though the company made many more products, because he liked the way it sounded. Heinz put his 57 and his name everywhere, from signs on his delivery wagons to larger signs on buildings, in trolleys, and by roadways and rail lines. The trademarked 57 dominated the company’s labels and advertising until 1969, and can still be found on packaging today.