‘Made in the USA’? Much more than you think

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KitchenAid mixers of all colors are made in Ohio.

Chris Monroe / CNET
This story is part of Road trip 2021, CNET’s coverage of the Biden administration’s efforts to expand American manufacturing and make more things in the United States.

The federal government wants Americans to buy more things at home. Shortly after taking office in January, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that stipulates stricter enforcement of “Buy American” standards within federal agencies. Then in July he proposed a new rule that would increase the minimum percentage of American-made parts required in products that the federal government purchases.

Robert Rodriguez / CNET

The goal of both efforts is to use federal funds to boost domestic production – the federal government spends $ 600 billion a year on goods and services – and to encourage consumers to “buy American”. As my colleague Ian Sherr wrote for CNET’s Made in America range, buying items made in the USA is a popular idea. Although much of what we carry, carry in our pockets and use at home is made overseas, not all of what we buy is imported. From cookware to beauty items, here are a few everyday items that are still produced on the home lawn.

Post-it notes

These groundbreaking sticky notes were invented by two scientists at 3M in Minnesota: Spencer Silver, who discovered an adhesive that can stick surfaces together but gives way when you pull them apart, and Art Fry, a church chorister who just wanted bookmarks, wouldn’t slip out of his hymn book. Post-it notes are made at a 3M facility in Cynthiana, Kentucky.

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Pyrex kitchen ware

For as long as I can remember, my parents have stocked kitchen cabinets with Pyrex baking pans, storage containers and measuring cups. (Some have definitely passed my age of 21.) The Pyrex brand was born more than a century ago when a Corning scientist’s wife baked a cake from scraps of glass that her husband brought home because her baking dish was broken. The glassware is made in Charleroi, Pennsylvania.

Burt’s Bees lip balm

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Burt Shavitz, co-founder of Burt’s Bees.

Burt’s Bees

Founded in Maine in the 1980s by a beekeeper (the eponymous Burt) and an artist, Burt’s Bees offers a range of natural grooming products, including its famous beeswax-based lip balm. Burt’s Bees is currently producing in North Carolina.

Sub-zero devices

Wisconsin knows a thing or two about the cold, as demonstrated by Sub-Zero’s fridges and freezers of Madison. The company has come a long way since the 1930s when its founder, Westye Bakke, searched for a better way to store insulin for his son with diabetes. Sub-Zero already manufactures in Wisconsin and Arizona.

Alex and Ani jewelry

If you are looking for some bling for yourself, Alex and Ani Jewelry is inexpensive, has no skin irritating nickel and is made in America.

Pottery Barn Special Edition Airstream

One of Airstream’s distinctive silver caravans.

Airflow

Airstream trailer

Airstream’s silver, streamlined travel trailers have become immensely popular as the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged Americans to take road trips for travel (there is now a year-long backlog on existing orders). The company has been building them at its JacksonCenter, Ohio facility for decades.

La-Z-Boy chairs

Since La-Z-Boy developed his first recliner nearly a century ago, he’s outfitted legions of snoring grandfathers with plush napping chairs. As of 2019, La-Z-Boy will manufacture most of its chairs and sofas in Tennessee.

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A fire engine red Ford Mustang.

Emme Halle / Roadshow

Mustang cars

Few images are more American than those of a sleek Ford Mustang driving along a US freeway. Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant, which opened in Michigan in 1987, assembles the Mustang. The 2021 iteration starts at $ 27,205. (The new Mustang Mach-E electric cars are made in Mexico and China.)

Not your mother’s hair products

I’m not sure what NYM has against my mom’s hair products – but this company makes well-respected shampoos, conditioners, and creams here in the US.

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The Weber Spirit II E-210, as pictured in CNET’s “The Best Gas Grills You Can Buy Today”.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Weber grills

It’s hot barbecue summer, and whether you prefer gas or charcoal to cook your burgers and “dogs”, there’s a Weber grill that can take care of it. Weber sources parts both domestically and internationally, but makes its grills in the United States.

Steinway & Sons pianos

A beautiful Steinway filled my family home with music for many decades. A German immigrant to the USA founded the company in the mid-19th century. Steinway pianos sold in the United States are made in Astoria, New York. For the rest of the world they are built in Hamburg.

Factory tour-10

CNET visited the KitchenAid factory in Greenville, Ohio in 2018.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

KitchenAid kitchen machines

These durable (and heavy) devices hold for decades and can be used for a lot more than just mixing cookie dough. Made in Greenville, Ohio, they come in a range of bright colors. And how CNET found during a factory visit, they have a loyal following.

Gibson guitars

Have you heard music in your life? Then I guarantee you have heard someone clink a Gibson. The company manufactures its acoustic guitars in Montana and its electrics, including the famous Les Paul, in Tennessee.

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Louisville Sluggers in production at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Louisville Slugger Bats

Loved by MLB stars and backyard ball players alike, the Slugger baseball bat is an American classic. And yes, it’s made in Louisville, Kentucky. You can take part Erin Carson from CNET on a trip to the factory to see the bats get into the playoffs from a forest.

Crayola colored pencils

Growing up, the coolest thing I owned was hands down my three-tier presentation of all the Crayola crayons imaginable. (I still miss it sometimes.) Crayola’s annual production of colored pencils is approaching 3 billion, and its main manufacturing facilities are in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

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