Made in America: Iconic Products from the U.S.A.
By Sam Tuttle, Marvin Windows
July 27, 2015
Marvin Windows and Doors is known for its craftsmanship and rich legacy of producing high-quality and innovative products that are a result of the talents and entrepreneurial spirit of the people who work right here in the United States.
In recent years, the United States’ manufacturing sector has experienced a steady growth – a phenomenon that has positively impacted the economy and workforce. In the spirit of “American Made,” we started thinking about companies that, like Marvin, continue to produce jobs and exceptional products in the U.S.
Following is a roundup of some of our favorite “American Made” companies.
In 1884, Bud Hillerich, son of Kentucky woodworking shop-owner J.F. Hillerich, slipped away one afternoon to watch some baseball. That day Pete Browning, the star of the Louisville Eclipse, broke his bat and continued his hitting slump. Legend has it that Bud invited Browning back to his father’s shop after the game and handcrafted a new bat from a long slab of wood. Browning broke his slump with three hits the very next day.
Since 1884, these all-American baseball bats have helped players like Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron become home-run-hitting legends.
Back in 1901, William S. Harley completed a blueprint drawing of an engine designed to fit into a bicycle at the age of 21. Two years later, Harley and childhood friend Arthur Davidson made available to the public the first production Harley-Davidson motorcycle; the business operated out of a 10 x 15-foot wooden shed with the words “Harley-Davidson Motor Company” on the door.
Since its humble beginnings, the company was one of only two major American motorcycle manufactures to survive the Great Depression and continue to lead the category with nearly 350,000 bikes sold worldwide last year.
By the time Gibson began work on its first electric guitar, the company had a 40-year tradition of American quality and innovation to uphold. The first Gibson electric had to be nothing less than the best electric guitar the world had ever seen.
Today’s Gibson electric guitars, manufactured in Nashville, TN, represent the history as well as the future of the electric guitar. The models whose designs have become classics are a testament to Gibson’s wide appeal, spanning more than four decades of music styles. Some greats to wield a Gibson have been B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Elvis.
In 1952 George Stephen Sr. was working at Weber Brothers Metal Works in Chicago, Illinois, manufacturing marine buoys when he came up with an idea for a better grill – a dome-shaped grill with a lid to protect food from the elements, while sealing in that only-from-the-grill barbecue flavor.
What started out as passion for George 60 years ago has evolved into a grilling revolution that has spread across the world. Today, Weber grills are sold in more than 72 countries.
Noticing a need for safe, quality, affordable wax crayons, Edwin Binney and C. Harold produced the first box of eight Crayola crayons in 1903, which contained red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown and black sticks. The complete box sold for just a nickel. The Crayola name, coined by Edwin Binney’s wife Alice, comes from “craie,” the French word for chalk, and “ola,” from “oleaginous,” another word for oily.
Since then, the Pennsylvania based company has added many colors to the lineup and has expanded into other products, including markers and colored pencils.
Just as all of the above companies have evolved over the years, so has Marvin. In fact, check out our recent “New Spin” on our classic Next Generation Ultimate Double Hung.
For more information on Marvin’s story, see “Our History.”