Posted by Jill Worth | 08 / 29 / 13 0 Comments

Pennsylvania has a long history of industrial and manufacturing firsts.  Scranton, in the northeastern part of the state was the first city in America to be electrified.  Titusville Pennsylvania was the birthplace of the oil industry.  Iron production first began in this state in 1716 and within 100 years coal was fueling industrial growth. 

newly redesigned heinz ketchup bottlesManufacturers benefited from all of this industrial development.  Philadelphia and Pittsburgh established themselves as hubs.  Philadelphia became known for manufacturing textiles, chemicals, metals, furniture and pharmaceuticals.  Ship building was one of the first major industries for this port city.  The western city of Pittsburgh became known for heavier industries including iron and steel production.  It was also the birthplace of the H.J. Heinz Company, makers of the ubiquitous iconic condiment we have all grown to know and love today, Heinz Ketchup.

While manufacturing throughout the state has seen its ups and downs, recent history shows a strong upward trajectory. From 2009 to 2011, Pennsylvania’s total manufacturing output grew by 7.5% to $71 billion dollars thus increasing manufacturing’s share of the total gross state products to 12.3%.  Employment in Manufacturing experienced an increase of nearly 30,000 new jobs in one year.

These statistics reinforce the importance of manufacturing to Pennsylvania’s economy and the role it played in fostering many iconic American brands.  The Rodon Group is honored to be part of this tradition. 

Here are some iconic brands that you may recognize.   All are still being made in Pennsylvania today.

Iconic Products Manufactured in Pennsylvania

Company Name

Woolrich Outdoor Clothing


Year Established


History of this iconic brand

"Legend has it that Woolrich was the first company to use a zipper in men's trousers. The timeless Railroad Vest, introduced when the railroad was being built through Pennsylvania, is still a popular item. Another garment with roots back to the mid-1800's is the Buffalo Check Shirt that has kept many generations of outdoorsmen warm."

Company Name Bollman Hats
Year Established 1860
History of this iconic brand "Founded in 1868, The Bollman Hat Company is America's oldest hat maker. We are a world leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of men's, women's, and children's headwear and accessories."
Company Name Martin Guitar
Year Established 1833
History of this iconic brand
"Few acoustic musicians can hear the name "C. F. Martin" without instantly linking it to some mental image that stands for enduring quality. Since 1833, the Martin Guitar Company has provided instruments of consistently high caliber to virtually a world–wide market.
Company Name Zippo Lighter
Year Established 1933
History of this iconic brand
"The story of Zippo Manufacturing Company is the story of its people, from the founder, George G. Blaisdell, to the many Zippo employees, customers, and collectors who have played a part in its 80-year history. Their loyalty to Zippo has made this one of America’s great companies, one with a vivid history which is detailed here."
Company Name W.R. Case and Sons
Year Established 1889
History of this iconic brand "W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company is an American manufacturer of premium, hand-crafted knives that are passed down for generations. Based in Bradford, Pennsylvania, Case’s offerings cover a wide range of product categories, from traditional folding pocket knives and fixed blade sporting knives to limited production commemoratives and collectibles."
Company Name Channellock Tools
Year Established 1886
History of this iconic brand "George B. DeArment founded the Champion Bolt & Clipper Company with a firm belief in four guiding principles: the belief that good management is never far from the factory floor; that people are more important than machines; that bigger doesn't always mean better; and that dedication to excellence is the surest way to surmount adversity and to prosper."
Company Name Bluestar Stoves
Year Established 1880
History of this iconic brand "Built with the highest-quality materials and distinctive workmanship that comes from 130 years expertise, BlueStar turns up the heat on home cooking with a fully customizable line to suit the specific cooking needs of the accomplished home chef."
Company Name Kepner Scott Shoes
Year Established 1888
History of this iconic brand In 1888, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania (pop. 2,000) was beginning to emerge as a footwear manufacturing hub. That same year Kepner Scott Shoe Co. was founded from the former shoe firm of Haeseler, Kepner and Co. by Alexander Scott and W.C. Kepner. By 1913 Orwigsburg was home to eleven shoe manufacturers collectively producing over 1.4 million pairs of children’s shoes annually.
Company Name Harley Davidson Motorcycles
Year Established 1901
History of this iconic brand "The first production Harley-Davidson® motorcycle was built to be a racer.  The factory in which they worked was a 10 x 15-foot wooden shed with the words "Harley-Davidson Motor Company" crudely scrawled on the door."
Company Name Mack Trucks
Year Established 1900
History of this iconic brand
"The phrase, "Built like a Mack truck," signifies strength and durability. As America's first integrated truck and engine manufacturer, Mack Trucks, Inc. holds itself to high standards and practices balanced design, a method in which components are engineered to function perfectly with one another."
Company Name Pyrex Glassware
Year Established 1915
History of this iconic brand "World Kitchen is proud to design and manufacture our iconic Pyrex® glassware products right here in the USA. Since 1915, Pyrex glassware has been manufactured in America, including at our facility in Charleroi, Pennsylvania since the 1940s."

 *Historic information taken from company websites


Topics: Pennsylvania Manufacturing, American Manufacturing and Products, Made in America

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