My bags are already packed!

How do they make that?

I often wonder that when I see a product at a store.

Yesterday, I learned how they make bicycles when I toured the production facility of R+E Cycles in Seattle.  This week I will be putting up a video on the blog of my tour of the McKinnon Furniture wood shop I took a few weeks ago.  I have also visited the Filson and Theo Chocolates production facilities in Seattle.  But a cross-country factory trip may be in the works as the result of reading a great article a couple of weeks ago.

The article by Matador Trips  presented seven great factory tours where you can watch things being made by members of our extended American family.  Of the seven, I think the most bizarre and kinda sad would be a visit to the Hoegh Pet Casket Co. factory in Gladstone, MI.  According to the article, “pet caskets are vacuum-formed out of sheets of plastic, likely held together by the salty tears of grieving pet owners. Here, the boxes, which vary in size from about 10″ (ant farm) to 52″ (mini pony), are churned out at the rate of 18 per hour.”

There are factory tours in every state in the union.  In Washington, the Boeing tour is outstanding.

If you like helicopters, you can take the Robinson Helicopter Co. tour in Torrance, CA.

If you are in Hawaii, you can take the Big Wind Kite Factory tour and get free kite flying lessons at Big Wind’s specially designed Aeronautical Testing Facility, which happens to be a park next door to the factory.

And I can imagine that one of the most popular tours in the U.S. is the tour of Harley’s factory in York, PA; the plant covers more than 230 acres and has over 1.5 million square feet under roof.

So get the family together and come up with a factory tour itinerary for this summer.  Regardless of what tour you take, you are sure to see members of our extended American family hard at work making great products we can all buy.

Ok, maybe not the Boeing jets.  Or the helicopters.

About Simply American LLC

I live in Seattle and love telling stories about Americans, the places where they work and the things that they make. I have just published a book, Simply American, encouraging Americans to purchase American made products; the book can be ordered at
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2 Responses to My bags are already packed!

  1. Mary says:

    Tom Bihn, here in Seattle, makes all kinds of bags. You can see the work being done from the small show room. Medford, Oregon has Harry & David. They give tours.

    • tapirking says:

      Thanks for the tips Mary! I am well aware of Tom Bihn and have interviewed him for my book and did a post on him as well; put in Tom Bihn in the search panel and you will find the post. I will check out Harry & David. Thanks again, John

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