1Made in Indiana
In 2018, Site Selection Magazine, a periodical dedicated to the past, present, and future of corporate real estate, ranked Indiana #8 for Business Climate. This ranking combined averaged numerous factors, including the opinion of executives, competitiveness, and taxation. For those in and out of Indiana business, whether large or small, that’s no great surprise: the Hoosier State wants to attract and keep entrepreneurs.
That hard-working spirit has threaded itself into the DNA of Indiana culture through centuries of manufacturers and industries, some of which have become iconic American products…
2Bar Keepers Friend
In 1882, an Indianapolis chemist concocted an effective powdered cleaner using oxalic acid as its primary ingredient. Originally marketed to saloons in central Indiana, it is now a popular cleaner across the United States. Indiana-based SerVaas Laboratories now produces approximately 60,000 cans a day.
3Clabber Girl Baking Powder
In the late 1700s, bakeries discovered that by adding potash (a mixture of salt and potassium) to bread, you could increase its volume and soften its texture, very desirable traits for any baked goods. At first, cooks made this ingredient at home, a lengthy process, but some companies began manufacturing this “baking powder”.
In the late 1800s, Clabber Girl Baking Powder emerged, becoming the most recognized brand of baking powder. With simple ingredients and an iconic can (the drawing has remained unchanged since 1940), Clabber Girl is manufactured in Terre Haute by Hulman & Company.
4Red Gold Tomatoes
In 1942, the Hutcherson family saw potential in a partially burned cannery in Orestes, Indiana. After restoring the cannery and planting hundreds of acres of tomatoes around it, they started a canned tomato company known first as “Indiana’s Finest” and then “Indiana Chef.”
After three decades of astounding growth, the family renamed it Red Gold Tomatoes, one of the largest canned tomato companies in the United States. Today, 80% of the tomatoes grown in the Midwest are processed and canned by Red Gold Tomatoes, which now has over 2,000 employees and is headquartered in Elwood, Indiana.
5The Saturday Evening Post
Few periodicals are as emblematic of Americana as The Saturday Evening Post. Its unique combination of informative articles, fiction, illustrations and literary hodge-podge transformed it into the most popular general interest magazine in the United States. Sadly, its throne was stolen by the rise of television, and its publishers announced the final issue in 1969.
Indianapolis entrepreneur Beurt SerVaas purchased the Post’s publishing company in 1970 and relaunched it as a quarterly, retaining the same folksy nostalgia that defined the original magazine. Today, the magazine is published six times a year by the Saturday Evening Post Society, a nonprofit based in Indianapolis.