"18 Iconic Products That America Doesn't Make Anymore"
With thanks to the Business Insider, we'd like to reprint an excellent piece they posted, "18 Iconic Products That America Doesn't Make Anymore."
Rawlings baseballs, Last production date: 1969-- Rawlings is the official supplier of baseballs to Major League Baseball. The St. Louis shop was founded in 1887 by George and Alfred Rawlings. In 1969 the brothers moved the baseball-manufacturing plant from Puerto Rico to Haiti and then later to Costa Rica.
Etch a Sketch, Last production date: 2000-- Etch A Sketch, an iconic American toy since the 1960s, used to be produced in Bryan, Ohio, a small town of 8,000. Then in Dec. 2000, toymaker Ohio Art decided to move production to Shenzhen, China.
Converse shoes, Last production date: 2001-- Marquis M. Converse opened Converse Rubber Show Company in Massachusetts in 1908. Chuck Taylors– named after All American high school basketball player Chuck Taylor– began selling in 1918 as the show eventually produced an industry record of over 550 million pairs by 1997. But in 2001 sales were on the decline and the U.S. factory closed. Now Chuck Taylors are made in Indonesia.
Stainless steel rebar, Last production date: circa 2001-- Many forms of this basic steel product are not available domestically. Multiple waivers to the Buy America Act have allowed purchase of rebar internationally. Note: The Buy America Act requires government mass transportation spending to use American products.
Dress shirts*, Last production date: Oct. 2002-- The last major shirt factory in America closed in October 2002, according to NYT. C.F. Hathaway's Maine factory had been producing shirts since 1837. *We know there are other shirt manufacturers in America. They do not produce in large quantities or supply major brands.
Mattel toys, Last production date: 2002-- The largest toy company in the world closed their last American factory in 2002. Mattel, headquartered in California, produces 65 percent of their products in China as of August 2007.
Minivans, Last production date: circa 2003-- A waiver to the Buy America Act permitted an American producer of wheel-chair accessible minivans to purchase Canadian chassis for use in government contracts, because no chassis were available from the United States. The waiver specified: "General Motors and Chrysler minivan chassis, including those used on the Chevrolet Uplander, Pontiac Montana, Buick Terraza, Saturn Relay, Chrysler Town & Country, and Dodge Grand Caravan, are no longer manufactured in the United States." Note: The Buy America Act requires government mass transportation spending to use American products.
Vending machines, Last production date: circa 2003-- You know that thing you put bills into on a vending machine? It isn’t made in America, according to a waiver to the Buy America Act. Neither is the coin dispenser, according to this federal waiver. Note: The Buy America Act requires government mass transportation spending to use American products.
Levi jeans, Last production date: Dec. 2003-- Levi Strauss & Co. shut down all its American operations and outsourced production to Latin America and Asia in Dec. 2003. The company's denim products have been an iconic American product for 150 years.
Radio Flyer's Red Wagon, Last production date: March 2004-- The little red wagon has been an iconic image of America for years. But once Radio Flyer decided its Chicago plant was too expensive, it began producing most products, including the red wagon, in China.
Televisions, Last production date: Oct. 2004-- Five Rivers Electronic Innovations was the last American owned TV color maker in the US. The Tennessee company used LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) technology to produce televisions for Philips Electronics. But after Philips decided to stop selling TVs with LCoS, Five Rivers eventually filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Oct. 2004. As part of its reorganization plan, the company stopped manufacturing TVs. Now there are ZERO televisions made in America, according to Business Week.
Cell phones, Last production date: circa 2007-- Of the 1.2 billion cell phones sold worldwide in 2008, NOT ONE was made in America, according to Manufacturing & Technology publisher Richard McCormick. After studying the websites of cell phone companies, we could not identify a single phone that was not manufactured primarily overseas.
Railroads (parts including manganese turnout castings, U69 guard bars, LV braces and weld kits), Last production date: circa 2008-- Here's another standout from dozens of waivers to the Buy America Act: railroad turnouts and weld kits. Manganese turnout castings are used to widen railroad tracks, and they were used to build our once-great railroad system. U69 guard bars, LV braces and Weld Kits, along with 22 mm Industrial steel chain are basic items that were certifiably not available in the US. Note: The Buy America Act requires government mass transportation spending to use American products.
Dell computers, Last production date: Jan. 2010-- In January 2010, Dell closed its North Carolina PC factory, its last large U.S. plant. Analysts said Dell would be outsourcing work to Asian manufacturers in an attempt to catch up with the rest of the industry, said analyst Ashok Kumar.
Canned sardines, Last production date: April 2010-- Stinson Seafood plant, the last sardine cannery in Maine and the U.S., shut down in April. The first U.S. sardine cannery opened in Maine in 1875, but since the demand for the small, oily fish declined, more canneries closed shop.
Pontiac cars, Last production date: May 2010-- The last Pontiac was produced last May. The brand was formally killed on Halloween, as GM contracts Pontiac dealerships expired. The 84-year-old GM brand was famous for muscle cars.
Forks, spoons, and knives, Last production date: June 2010-- The last flatware factory in the US closed last summer. Sherrill Manufacturing bought Oneida Ltd. in 2005, but shut down its fork & knife operations due to the tough economy. CEO Greg Owens says his company may resume production "when the general economic climate improves and as Sherrill Manufacturing is able to put itself back on its feet and recapitalize and regroup."
Incandescent light bulb, Last production date: Sept. 2010-- The incandescent light bulb (invented by Thomas Edison) has been phased out. Our last major factory that made incandescent light bulbs closed in September 2010. In 2007, Congress passed a measure that will ban incandescents by 2014, prompting GE to close its domestic factory. Note: A reader pointed out that the Osram/Sylvania Plant in St. Mary's, Penn. is still producing light bulbs to fill old and international contracts. However, the plant has announced plans to wind down incandescent production.
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