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Made in America

Date: May 1, 2015      Publication: Bottom Line Personal      Source: Sarah  Wagner      Print:

14 Great Products Still Made Here

Think very little is made in America? Think again—not only are there plenty of wonderful products manufactured here in the US, there’s reason to believe American manufacturing will increase in the years ahead. A 2014 survey by The Boston Consulting Group found that 16% of large American companies are in the process of bringing production previously done in China back to the US…and an additional 20% are considering doing so in the near future.

American-made items are worth seeking out. Companies that make things in the US do so partly because it makes it easier to ensure that their products will be of consistently high quality. Buying American also supports American workers…the American economy…and American communities—a single manufacturing facility can breathe life into an entire region.

Bottom Line/Personal wrote about great American-made products a few years back. Here’s a look at even more…*

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Kitchen

Stylish, colorful dinnerware. The Homer Laughlin China Company has made Fiesta Dinnerware in West Virginia since the 1930s. This popular ceramic dinnerware is glazed in a range of beautiful, distinctive solid colors. It comes with an impressive five-year guarantee against most chipping or breaking. ­Fiesta dinnerware is reasonably priced—dinner plates cost $12.99 apiece, for example. It’s available through retailers including Amazon.com, Kohl’s and Macy’s. It’s collectible, too—vintage Fiestaware in discontinued colors sometimes sells for significantly more than it originally cost. ­FiestaFactoryDirect.comP_11_close up

Cast-iron cookware. The Lodge Manufacturing Company has made Lodge Cast-Iron skillets and other cookware in Tennessee since the 1890s. Prices are very competitive—a nine-inch cast-iron skillet costs $22…a five-quart cast-iron Dutch oven, $60. Lodge products are available at retailers including ­Amazon.com, Target, Walmart and Williams-Sonoma. Cast iron is heavy and expensive to ship, so it’s generally best to purchase it locally or through an online seller that offers free shipping. LodgeMfg.com

Note: Lodge manufactures all of its seasoned cast-iron products in the US, but its enameled cast-iron products are made abroad.

Drinking cups. The Tervis Tumbler Company, headquartered in Florida, has been making high-quality plastic tumblers, mugs and drinking bottles since the 1940s. Tervis Tumblers maintain beverage temperature better than most cups and protect furniture by minimizing condensation. They are pricier than other plastic cups—a clear 16-ounce tumbler costs $11, for example—but they also are much more durable. Tervis products can be found on Amazon.com and at Bed Bath & Beyond. Tervis.com

Shoes and Apparel

P_12_University Wingtip High-end men’s shoes. Allen Edmonds has been handcrafting classically styled men’s shoes in Wisconsin since the 1920s. These shoes are pricey—expect to pay $385 for a pair of dress shoes—but the leather quality and workmanship are exquisite. ­AllenEdmonds.com

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“Barefoot” sneakers. Colorado’s SOM Footwear manufactures sneakers (and other shoes) that make their wearers feel almost like they are not wearing shoes at all. Prices are similar to those of other footwear of comparably high quality—SOM’s SP-L3 Classic all-black leather shoe sells for $138, for example. SOM’s products currently are available only direct from the company or through a small number of Colorado shoe stores. SOMFootwear.comKaren Kane

Women’s fashion. More than 90% of the clothing made by designer Karen Kane is manufactured in the US, mainly in California. The ­Karen Kane line is known for producing women’s garments—including dresses, sweaters, tops, skirts and pants—that manage to be both casual and luxurious. Many pieces are priced in the $90-to-$150 range. Kane’s clothes are available at many department stores including Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, Macy’s and Nordstrom. KarenKane.com

Sweats. Massachusetts-based Goodwear makes sweatshirts, sweatpants and T-shirts from American-grown and spun cotton. Prices are competitive for garments of this quality—Goodwear’s Heavyweight Hoodie sells for about $53, for example. Goodwear.com

ToolsP_12_Wingman

Pocket multitool. The Leatherman Tool Group has been making Leatherman Multitools in Oregon since the 1980s. Multitools are comparable to Swiss Army Knives, but with pliers built in. A range of varieties are available, such as the Leatherman Wingman, which features 14 tools and costs $39.85. Leatherman tools are sold at retailers including Amazon.com, Kmart, Lowe’s, Sears and Walmart. Leatherman.com

Hammers and hatchets. The ­Illinois-based company now known as Vaughan & Bushnell Manufacturing has been making tools in the US since the 1860s. Its Vaughan-brand hammers, hatchets, handsaws and pry bars are sold at retailers including Amazon.com, Grainger, The Home Depot and Walmart. VaughanMfg.com

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Similar: Illinois-based Estwing manufactures hammers, hatchets, axes and pry bars in the US as well. They’re available at Amazon.com, Grainger, The Home Depot, Sears, Walmart and elsewhere. Estwing.com

Pliers and wrenches. Illinois-based Klein Tools, a company that dates to the 1850s, continues to make the vast majority of its products in the US. Klein offers more than 3,000 tools and accessories, including drill bits, cable and bolt cutters, and more than 100 varieties of pliers. Klein products can be found at retailers including Grainger, The Home Depot and TrueValue. KleinTools.com

Flashlights. All Maglite flashlights are designed and manufactured in the US by California-based Mag Instrument, Inc. The company offers a full line of flashlights ranging from a pocket-size $20 LED flashlight up to a $210 643-lumen LED rechargeable flashlight used by many police forces. A 600-­lumen flashlight is like a portable spotlight. Maglites are sold at Amazon.com, Lowe’s, Target, Walmart and elsewhere. Maglite.com

Toys

Building toys. About 75% of the components of K’nex construction toys—including all of the bricks, rods and connectors—areP_12_KNEX 52ModelTubPkg manufactured in the US. The Pennsylvania company recently purchased the well-known Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoy brands and returned the production of most of their components to America as well. Some K’nex products, including the 52 Model K’nex Building Set and the Tinkertoy 100-Piece Essential Value Set (each $34.99) are 100% US-made. The company’s toys are available at Amazon.com, Target, Toys “R” Us and Walmart among many other locations. Knex.com

Helpful: A full list of K’nex products that are 100% American-made can be found on the company’s website.P_12_CrayolaCrayons

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Crayons. Most Crayola crayons and markers are made at the company’s Pennsylvania factory. Helpful: Some Crayola-brand products—including most Crayola plastic toys—are made overseas. Look for “Made in the USA” on the label or search for American-made products on Crayola’s website.

Riding toys. Ohio-based Little Tikes Company has been making its Cozy Coupe in the US for 30 years. The hugely popular red-and-yellow ride-in toy sells for $54.99. Little Tikes makes hundreds of other toys in the US as well, including the Lil’ Wagon ($26.99) and TotSports Basketball Set ($24.99). Little Tikes products are available at Amazon.com, Target, Walmart and elsewhere. LittleTikes.com

Helpful: Certain Little Tikes toys are not US-made. Click here to find a listing of its American-made products.

Source: Sarah Wagner, founder of USA Love List, a website that features high-quality products that are made in the US. She lives near Philadelphia. USALoveList.com

  • Weeble1150

    High quality tools made in Meadville, PA by Channellock Tools.

  • Melissa

    Chippewa Boots, a division of Justin Brands (Berkshire Hathaway Co) are American made. Also all Henry Firearms are “made in America, or not at all” . There are many more firms not listed in this article that produce American-made merchandise.

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