Today we celebrate the birth of our nation—the day we declared our freedom from the rule of the British empire. By adopting the Declaration of Independence on July 2, 1776, America’s founding fathers secured our freedom and liberty. Declaration of Independence signer and President John Adams wrote, “The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
We celebrate American Independence Day on July 4th by taking the day off work, gathering with friends and family, barbecuing and watching fireworks. It is a day to embrace the patriot in all of us and take the time to reflect on all those who have served to ensure the freedoms us Americans enjoy.
There is nothing more patriotic than serving your country, but civilians can do their part, too. Since the 1990s, many American companies have moved manufacturing overseas, where the cost of doing business is cheaper. However, this hurts the American economy and American workers. Despite the lower price tag of foreign-made goods, 80 percent of Americans would prefer buying American-made products. Here are five good products made in America you can enjoy not only this Fourth of July but all year round.
Made in the U.S.A.
Light your fireworks, bonfire and barbecue grill with a Zippo decorated with Old Glory. “Reconstructed” by George G. Blaisdell in the early 1930s from an Austrian lighter design, the Zippo is the original American ‘windproof’ lighter. Zippos are made in Bradford, Pennsylvania and are known for their durability, one-handed operation, popularity with soldiers and unconditional lifetime guarantee. During World War II, Zippo stopped selling lighters to consumers and focused on supplying Zippos to soldiers. Though the company never had a contract, they sold Zippos on bases and posts. Zippo continues this tradition of supporting our military, by producing patriotic and military-themed models. These pieces of Americana retail for $12.40 (basic matte white) to $35.45 for an all-metal (1.5x thicker than standard) model. In 2012, Zippo produced its 500 millionth lighter.
W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company knives are classically-styled pocket knives that anyone of any age can be proud of carrying. Established by brothers William Russell, Jean, John and Andrew Case, the Case Brothers Cutlery Company began by selling knives out the back of a wagon in New York. Acquired by Zippo in 1993, Case knives have been made in Bradford, Pennsylvania for over 105 years. Case has licenses to make iconic American-themed knives such as Elvis Presley, Coca-Cola, Boy Scouts, John Deere, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Johnny Cash. The Star-Spangled Series of knives are based on a liner-lock design and have high-carbon stainless steel blades.
A household name in coolers, Igloo is made in Katy, Texas. The company started out in 1947 from a metal shop and have been making products that help people in their “pursuit of happiness” ever since. The Marine Ultra Quantum cooler is constructed of Ultratherm insulation and holds ice for up to five days. With rust-resistant hardware and UV inhibitors that protect against sun damage, the Marine Ultra cooler is perfect for fishing and boating. This 52-quart cooler holds 85 (12-ounce) cans. There are a drain plug, telescoping handle and durable wheels. As a bonus, it comes with removable drink and fishing rod holders. Whatever you are doing this Independence Day, enjoy a cold one from your American-made Igloo cooler.
Extremely popular in the South, the Tervis double-walled insulated tumbler is the original insulated cup! Invented in 1946 by engineers Frank Cotter and G. Howlett Davis, the Tervis tumbler keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. Acquired by John C. Winslow in the 1960s, Tervis is still a family-owned and operated business and all Tervis tumblers are made in Florida. Though the company uses sophisticated machines to make the cups, those with emblems inside must be inserted by hand. The microwave- and dishwasher-safe tumblers won’t sweat and are available in a variety of sizes and styles. Very proud of their heritage, Tervis tumblers have a variety of American flag and patriotic designs. Sit back, sip on your cold cocktail, sweet tea or soda and watch the fireworks with your durable Tervis tumbler.
A true story of the American dream begins with Maglite’s founder Anthony Maglica. Though born in the U.S.A., Tony Maglica left with his mother to return to her native Croatia during the Great Depression to be closer to her family. In 1950, Tony left Croatia to come back to America. He was a trained machinist focused on getting the best work in America that he could. After working hard, he managed to save $125 and bought himself his own lathe. After developing a reputation for quality, efficiency and inventiveness, Tony was able to incorporate Mag Instruments in 1974. Originally designed for law enforcement and first responders, MagLite’s iconic aluminum flashlight was first introduced in 1979. All MagLite products are developed and made in the United States at its Ontario, California facility. Tony says, “I will not go out of the country if my life depends on it. There’s no reason for it really.” MagLite’s honest business policies include transparency. They are open about how not every single piece of their flashlights come from the U.S. However, there aren’t many companies anymore that work as hard at keeping production from being outsourced as MagLite does: So, when we say that we are “A U.S.A. Manufacturer” whose flashlights are “Built in America,” we do not mean that no part, component or accessory of one of our flashlights is ever imported. What we DO mean is that our flashlights are, and always have been, invented, designed and engineered in America and assembled in and shipped from our American factory… And when a product of ours does include some foreign content, we duly note that on package labeling.” The American flag MagLite flashlight is a special edition honoring what it means to be an American.
It is difficult to find 100-percent American-made products in this day and age. The costs of doing business and an unstable economy lead many companies to move production overseas, where labor and parts are cheap comparatively. However, we should be proud to be buying American-made products. It keeps hard-working Americans employed and is great for our economy.
Today is America’s birthday. Let’s celebrate our Liberty and Freedom by buying something from an American manufacturer. After all, we were founded on resistance. America is America because we fought for our independence. Buying American ensures that freedom.
What are your favorite American-made products? List them in the comment section.