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Barilla, 145 years enclosed in the historical archive

Over 35,000 objects, photos, videos and advertisements of its history have been digitized

International Museum Day is celebrated yesterday 18 May. For this occasion, the Barilla Group invites all its customers to take a virtual visit to the company's historical archive. The project was strongly desired by Pietro Barilla with the aim of preserving and enhancing the historical documentation produced by the company since its birth in 1877, a few years after the unification of Italy. The historical archive has been declared by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities as a "site of considerable historical interest" because it "recounts the evolution of Italian customs".

Over 35,000 cataloged documents trace the history, economic activity, communication and advertising strategy of iconic brands such as Barilla, Mulino Bianco, Pavesi, Pan di Stelle and Voiello. The section on graphics and advertising gathers over 150 posters from the 1920s to today, promotional items and about 2,700 advertising films for TV and cinema. Starting with the oldest "The Wings of Our Heaven", where spoons and forks dance to the notes of Rossini's "Gazza Ladra". There is also a photo library, with thousands of company images from 1913 to today.

There is also a section dedicated to merchandising with many vintage items that can be purchased directly on the site by collecting enthusiasts. The history of Barilla begins in Parma in post-unification Italy, when Pietro Barilla opens a bread and pasta shop. Some testimonies of this period on the site, including one of the first invoices, dated 1909 and vintage postcards of a Parma in full Belle Époque. The founder was succeeded in the early 1900s by his sons Riccardo and Gualtiero. The first factory is born, with 100 workers and the production of 80 quintals of pasta per day. Numerous photographic evidence of the first industrial bread and pasta factory, opened in Via Veneto in 1910, is cataloged: the canteen, the cash office, the purchasing and shipping offices.

On the death of Riccardo Barilla in 1947, the third generation of the family took over the company. Pietro Barilla, who mainly deals with marketing and promotion, and his brother Gianni, attentive to the development of the factory and administration. In the historical archive the photos with the tools of a pastry art that thinks bigger and bigger: next to molds, sieves and dies peep out the graphic projects by Erberto Carboni, who is responsible for the company logo framed in the oval arrived, after various revisions and tweaks (the last in 2022), up to us.

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