Posted by Jill Worth | 03 / 19 / 15 1 Comment

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_heinzketchup_bottles

Manufacturers 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. According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), manufacturers in Pennsylvania account for 12.00 percent of the total output in the state, employing 9.72 percent of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing was $77.37 billion in 2013. download-2

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 has been making its own history in Pennsylvania since 1956. Since 1992, Rodon, has manufactured over 38 billion parts for the K'NEX building toy system.

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

Website

www.woolrich.com

Year Established

1830

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

Website

www.bollmanhats.com

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

Website

www.martinguitar.com

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

Website

www.zippo.com

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

Website

www.wrcase.com

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

Website

www.channellock.com

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

Website

www.bluestarcooking.com

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

Website

www.kepnerscott.com

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

Website

www.harley-davidson.com

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

Website

www.macktrucks.com

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

Website

www.pyrexware.com

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."

Company Name

Just Born

Website

www.justborn.com

Year Established

1923

History of this iconic brand

"Just Born is a family-owned candy manufacturer that has been in business since 1923. We make everyone's favorite candies. Among our well known confections are: PEEPS® Brand Marshmallow Candies,  MIKE AND IKE  Brand Candies, HOT TAMALES® Brand Candies, GOLDENBERG'S® PEANUT CHEWS® Brand Candies We employ almost 600 associates, most of whom are at our world headquarters in Bethlehem, PA. All Just Born candies are made in the USA.

NEW VIDEO: Take a tour of our factory and   learn how we've remained a leader in   U.S. plastic injection molding since 1956! 

Topics: Pennsylvania Manufacturing, American Manufacturing and Products


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