During the first 30 years of the 1800s, the American Industry was born, and manufacturing became a way of life. American industries facilitated successful businesses that became synonymous with pioneering a way of life. Hearing the words, ‘Made in the USA’ has traditionally held a very special meaning to all Americans.
1. 3M Post-it Notes
That small piece of paper with a re-adhesive strip of glue on its back was first invented in 1977 by Dr. Spencer Silver. He began his Post-it path back in 1968 as a scientist who was looking to develop a super-strong adhesive. He worked on it for five years until 1974, when Art Fry came up with the idea by using it to anchor his bookmark. The fact that it was yellow came by accident; the lab they used only had yellow scrap paper. 3M launched the product as “Press ‘n Peel” in 1977, and in 1979, the famed product earned its name as “Post-its.” 3M, headquartered in St. Paul, now owns many different brands around the globe. From electronics and industrial materials to healthcare and safety and security products, 3M is a true success story. Post-it Notes are still made today in the company’s Cynthiana, KY facility.
2. Smith & Wesson
That’s right—America makes guns. This company was started in 1852 by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson. Over the years, Smith & Wesson outgrew the factories of Springfield, OH. The company has become the largest manufacturer of handguns in the United States. Apart from firearms, Smith & Wesson has introduced many types of ammunition over the years, and you can find cartridges all over with the company’s name on them. Smith & Wesson’s firearms have become standard issue to police and armed forces all over the world. And thanks to Clint Eastwood in the Hollywood movie “Dirty Harry,” their weapons are incredibly popular among sport shooters as well. Smith & Wesson also manufactures handcuffs, knives, tools, and tactical law enforcement footwear. Today, the company still produces its firearms in Springfield, and it also has facilities in Maine and Tennessee.
3. Weber Grills
With their headquarters located in Palatine, IL, this gas and oil grill has stood as a classic American invention since the 1950s. The Weber grill’s iconic charcoal-grill kettle design hasn’t even changed its shape since the grill was first created. In 1952, George Stephen Sr. was working at Weber Brothers Metal manufacturing marine buoys when he came up with an idea for a dome-shaped grill with a lid to protect food from the elements. The high quality line has been praised by Consumer Reports and Good Housekeeping. Weber is one of the global industry’s leading manufacturers and is proud to continue to be making their product in America.
After completing an apprenticeship with a confectioner in 1873, Milton S. Hershey founded a candy shop in Philadelphia. In 1886, he founded the Lancaster Caramel Company. Thirteen years later, Milton built a milk-processing plant so he could create and refine a recipe for milk chocolate candies, and he developed the Hershey process the next year. In 1903, Hershey began construction of a chocolate plant in his hometown, Derry Church, PA, which later famously came to be known as Hershey. Around the turn of the 20th century, Milton Snavely Hershey’s experiments with candy manufacturing saw him through two unsuccessful business ventures. He eventually sold his caramel company in 1900 to pursue his passion for chocolate. Soon after, he crafted the first Hershey’s chocolate bar. Today, the Hershey Company makes candy at locations in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Illinois, along with a facility in Guadalajara, Mexico. However, the main facility and headquarters remains in the section of Derry, PA, which has been called “Sweetest Place on Earth.” There, you’ll find Hershey’s Chocolate World amusement park, and you can tour even the Hershey factory. Hershey’s is the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. Hershey’s products are sold in more than 60 countries worldwide. Hershey is also associated with the Hersheypark Stadium and the Giant Center.