19 Iconic Products That America Doesn't Make Anymore

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    19 Iconic Products That America Doesn't Make Anymore

    19 iconic products that america doesn't make anymore: Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance

    Provided by the Business Insider November 1, 2010:

    GM is canceling the 84-year-old brand after winding down production over the past few years. Like other American automakers, it is restructuring and rebranding to compete with foreign companies.

    Pontiac joins a long list of iconic products that aren't made anywhere in America.

    Here are 19 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.

    Gerber baby food

    Last production date: 1994


    Gerber was founded in Michigan in 1927 by the owner of the Fremont Canning Company. The brand grew in popularity and in 1994 merged with Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical company. Then in 2007, Gerber was bought by Switzerland's Nestle, the world's largest food company. Today the brand has more than 80% of the American baby food market and the largest supplier of baby products in the world.

    Ever since the merger with Novartis, all Gerber products have been manufactured overseas.

    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. 20
    02

    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 200
    7

    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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    Man, no Levi's, Converse or Rawlings baseballs. What country am I living in? Very sad.

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    This is why our economy is so bad.....no jobs and wasting money to ship all this crap back to us.....oil is expected to climb back up to above $150 per barrel by 2012....we are so fucked...we need to become self-sustaining again...at least a little bit...
    Coarse edged youth, the irish pendants string from their smiles
    not yet plucked as to slacken the seams
    and drag down the features of age,
    no folds or creases from unkempt wear
    eyes of tranquilty, crystalline-beads
    no sign of despair in their hair, nor their hearts
    but oh they have yet to be experienced and that makes aging so very worth it...ML circa2012

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    The U.S. has changed from being a major manufacturer of goods, supplies and farming to a country that makes nothing and buys everything from other countries hence the ever increasing deficits. As the focus has shifted from production of quality goods to nothing except production of money in the pocket of company executives (Thanks in no small part on behalf of deuchebag politicians) the deficit has continued to spiral out of control. This is and continues to be perpetuated by Democrats and Republicans. (I know there will be whiners from both sides so STFU and do some homework verifying at factcheck.org or snopes.com before responding).

    Until seats in the House and Senate have set term limits politicians will continue to do nothing that benefits the American people and this country and will continue passing policies that screw us while padding their wallets and advancing their agenda's in order to continue getting elected.
    Weight lifting is like " Mind over Matter". If my body doesn't mind---the weight doesn't matter!!!!!

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    ^^^Fantastic post.

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    What we need is a civil war, the filthy rich vs. the rest of us schmucks like France's Revolution....
    Coarse edged youth, the irish pendants string from their smiles
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    and drag down the features of age,
    no folds or creases from unkempt wear
    eyes of tranquilty, crystalline-beads
    no sign of despair in their hair, nor their hearts
    but oh they have yet to be experienced and that makes aging so very worth it...ML circa2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by twarrior View Post
    Until seats in the House and Senate have set term limits politicians will continue to do nothing that benefits the American people and this country and will continue passing policies that screw us while padding their wallets and advancing their agenda's in order to continue getting elected.
    don't see the lobbyist ever allowing their power to make economic policy to be taken away. the "true" job of the Senate is to squash legislation proposed by the House for the people.

    the US Congress in the 70's that allowed this to happen initially failed the people, miserably.
    Last edited by LAM; 11-04-2010 at 06:35 PM.
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    Thomas Edison is still causing scientistgasms with his inventions. There are probably going to keep finding things in his lab.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/sc...nes&emc=tha210

    Restored Edison Records Revive Giants of 19th-Century Germany
    By RON COWEN

    Tucked away for decades in a cabinet in Thomas Edison’s laboratory, just behind the cot in which the great inventor napped, a trove of wax cylinder phonograph records has been brought back to life after more than a century of silence.

    The cylinders, from 1889 and 1890, include the only known recording of the voice of the powerful chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Two preserve the voice of Helmuth von Moltke, a venerable German military strategist, reciting lines from Shakespeare and from Goethe’s “Faust” into a phonograph horn. (Moltke was 89 when he made the recordings — the only ones known to survive from someone born as early as 1800.) Other records found in the collection hold musical treasures — lieder and rhapsodies performed by German and Hungarian singers and pianists at the apex of the Romantic era, including what is thought to be the first recording of a work by Chopin.

    Officials at Edison’s old laboratory in West Orange, N.J., now the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, unveiled the newly identified recordings on Monday.

    “This is sensational,” said Ulrich Lappenküper, director of the Otto von Bismarck Foundation in Friedrichsruh, Germany. The Bismarck cylinder is documented in the foundation’s archive, but after searching for it in the United States and Germany since 2005, Dr. Lappenküper and his colleagues assumed it had been lost forever.

    The unlabeled recordings, all housed in the same wooden box, had been found in 1957. But their contents remained unknown until last year, when Jerry Fabris, the curator at the Edison laboratory, used a playback device called the Archeophone to trace the grooves of 12 of the 17 cylinders in the box and convert the analog electrical signals into broadcast WAV files.

    He then enlisted two sound historians, Patrick Feaster of Indiana University and Stephan Puille of the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin , to help identify the faint recordings.
    The lid of the box held an important clue. It had been scratched with the words “Wangemann. Edison.”

    The first name refers to Adelbert Theodor Edward Wangemann, who joined the laboratory in 1888, assigned to transform Edison’s newly perfected wax cylinder phonograph into a marketable device for listening to music. Wangemann became expert in such strategies as positioning musicians around the recording horn in a way to maximize sound quality.
    In June 1889, Edison sent Wangemann to Europe, initially to ensure that the phonograph at the Paris World’s Fair remained in working order. After Paris, Wangemann toured his native Germany, recording musical artists and often visiting the homes of prominent members of society who were fascinated with the talking machine.

    Until now, the only available recording from Wangemann’s European trip has been a well-known and well-worn cylinder of Brahms playing an excerpt from his first Hungarian Dance. That recording is so damaged “that many listeners can scarcely discern the sound of a piano, which has in turn tarnished the reputations of both Wangemann and the Edison phonograph of the late 1880s,” Dr. Feaster said. “These newly unearthed examples vindicate both.”

    In October 1889 Wangemann and his wife visited the 74-year-old Bismarck, then chancellor of the German empire, at his castle in Friedrichsruh. Bismarck listened to recordings made in Paris and Berlin, and at his wife’s urging, he made his own. He recited snippets of poetry and songs in English, Latin, French and German. Perhaps surprisingly, given his involvement in the Franco-Prussian War, he chose to recite lines from the French national anthem.

    “Bismarck was a very, very witty man” and reciting the Marseillaise “would tickle him,” said Jonathan Steinberg, a historian at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of the new biography “Bismarck: A Life.”
    Bismarck ends the recording with some advice, apparently for his son Herbert, who heard the recording a few weeks later in Budapest, to live life in moderation. “Bismarck was a gigantic man with gigantic appetites and a gigantic temper,” Dr. Steinberg said. “He never did anything in moderation, and Herbert was just as immoderate.”

    Mr. Puille, the sound historian in Berlin, said it was not easy to identify Bismarck’s voice. But after he deciphered a reference to Friedrichsruh, Bismarck’s estate, in the announcement of one of the cylinders, “I immediately knew that I was on the right track,” he continued in an e-mail message.

    “Bismarck’s name is not mentioned in the recording, but I had collected all available information about his cylinder in the contemporary press, and the content of the cylinder matched perfectly.”

    He added, “No doubt this find is the culmination of my researcher’s life.”
    The panoply of musical artists on the cylinders “represented the prominent musicians of the day,” said Jonathan Berger, a musicologist at Stanford.

    “The fact that their musical lineage and circle of friends included the great composers of the 19th century makes their recordings valuable documents of performance practices and musical sensibilities of the time,” he added.

    The Wangemann cylinders are just the latest in an explosion of discoveries in early recorded sound over the last five years, said Tim Brooks, a sound historian in Greenwich, Conn. In 2008, Dr. Feaster and his colleagues at FirstSounds.org succeeded in playing a version of the French lullaby “Au Clair de la Lune,” deciphered from a tracing in soot-coated paper dating from 1860 — the earliest sound ever recovered. A trove of cylinders recorded in Russia in the 1890s was also recently uncovered.

    The ability to digitize old recordings and the use of new imaging techniques to map the grooves of damaged cylinder records without touching them has contributed to the onslaught, Mr. Brooks said, adding, “You can actually hear history as well as read about it.”

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