Much has been said about the loss of factory jobs in the U.S., but our nation’s 12.3 million manufacturing workers still make make big things happen.
Here’s a look at some of the big, brand-name goods, from cars to guns, that are still produced in the United States.
The Ford Focus (reportedly a favorite of Barack Obama) and F-150 pickup are among the Ford models produced at 24 plants throughout the United States.
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Lay’s potato chips
This classic chip and its Frito-Lay family of snacks, from Cheetos to Doritos, roll off conveyor belts at plants that dot the American map.
The Killingly, Connecticut, location alone can crank out up to 16,000 pounds of chips per hour.
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What began in Easton, Pennsylvania, continues there more than 100 years after the brand’s launch. You can still watch the crayon magic happen at Easton’s Crayola Experience attraction.
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In 1855, Samuel Colt established what’s now known as Colt Manufacturing Co. in West Hartford, Connecticut, where revolvers, pistols, rifles and more are still produced today.
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The instrument of choice for the likes of Slash, blues great Buddy Guy, and most famously Les Paul, the guitar giant founded in Michigan cranks out the sounds at factories in Memphis, Nashville, and Bozeman, Montana.
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New Balance sneakers
New Balance trots out 4 million pairs of sneakers a year from five facilities in Maine and Massachusetts, and uses primarily U.S.-sourced materials.
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Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
Though a subsidiary of Europe’s Unilever conglomerate since 2000, the hippie-celebrating ice cream maintains its American roots: Its U.S. treats are produced at a factory in Waterbury, Vermont.
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An employer of U.S. auto workers since 1982, the Japanese carmaker produces the Camry in Kentucky and Indiana. Toyota also maintains plants in Mississippi and Texas.
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In 1904, King C. Gillette patented the throat-saving double-edged safety razor blade. A year later, Gillette began manufacturing his blades in Boston. The brand that bears his name still calls Boston its blade-making home.
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Burt's Bees products
Maine beekeeper Burt Shavitz has passed away, but the global beauty-care brand that bears his name is still a U.S. presence, with a factory in North Carolina. It’s now owned by Clorox.
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Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1941, the crunchy-shelled candy still relies on the Garden State, via a plant in Hackettstown, to produce half of the United States’ M&M’s supply.
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This zero-emission automaker not only came from California’s Silicon Valley, it runs a plant there – in Fremont. It operates another facility in nearby Lathrop, California.
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Honey Nut Cheerios
Here’s the buzz: The top-selling cold cereal in the United States is produced by Minneapolis-based General Mills, which says it operates 30 U.S. manufacturing facilities, including major plants in Albuquerque, Buffalo, New York, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Great Falls, Montana.
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The iconic model-train brand, founded in New York City in 1900, keeps things on track today from a plant in North Carolina, where its sets are painted, decorated and assembled.
Credit: Lionel Trains via Facebook
Bud Light beer
The top-selling beer in the United States and its Anheuser-Busch kin are brewed in 12 factories from California to New Hampshire, even though the company is now owned by Belgian-based InBev.
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The eagle landed, as it were, in 1933, when the first “reconstructed” lighter was produced by George G. Blaisdell in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Despite having gone global in the years since, Zippos are still made in Bradford.
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The top-selling soft drink in the United States and its carbonated (and non-carbonated) siblings, such as Sprite and VitaminWater, are bottled at a network of plants, many franchised and locally run, located throughout the country.
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American muscle produces the Mustang and its Shelby variation at the Ford assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.
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Jack Daniel’s whiskey
The world’s fourth-biggest-selling liquor is distilled in whiskey barrels in Lynchburg, Tennessee. You can visit the place; you may even sip there.
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Half of all cigarettes sold in the United States, including this brand, roll through a 1.6-million-square-foot production facility in “Cigarette City,” aka Richmond, Virginia.
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Though now owned by China’s Haier Group, this General Electric spinoff employs nearly 6,000 at its Louisville, Kentucky, manufacturing headquarters known as “Appliance Park.”
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"Appliance Park" at work
Customers can track the company’s ranges, refrigerators and more made by U.S. workers on GE Appliances’ “Made in America” site. In this photo, GE employees at the Louisville Appliance Park work on an air conditioner for the hotel industry.