Meet the Oldest Manufacturers in America
One of the pillars of President Joe Biden’s election campaign was an emphasis on American manufacturing. His “Made in America” pledge outlines a return to the morals and standards of domestic production to reestablish U.S. manufacturing as a strong pillar of the world economy, not just our economy at home. To understand this vision better, it’s worth looking back, through the history of domestic production in this country. Even today, some of the oldest manufacturers can shed light on what it means for a product to be Made in America.
American made, defined
The term “American Made” means different things, depending on the context. Most consumers think it means the product was made somewhere on U.S. soil. In the eyes of the law, that product needs to be “all or virtually all” made in the United States. For many manufacturers, it’s a badge of honor and a symbol of quality and excellence.
These small ambiguities add up. Made in America products need to go beyond a sticker — they need to live up to the original promise of “Made in America” to last longer, perform better, and deliver a higher standard of satisfaction than any other product made anywhere else in the world.
The originators of quality
There are thousands of manufacturers big and small in the United States, and many of them churn out products that are Made in America every day. But only a few domestic producers can truly say that they’ve set the standard of American Made. Here are a few of the oldest domestic producers in the United States, and a look at some of the products that define what it means to be American Made:
- Perfumer Caswell-Massey is so old, it’s purported that explorers Lewis and Clark took a bottle of this brand’s cologne with them on their cross-country expedition!
- Confection and baking supplier Baker’s Chocolate is old enough to have experienced the Boston Tea party in the city where they were founded and still operate today.
- Another food manufacturer, King Arthur Flour is nearly as old as the legend itself (hyperbole). Today, the company is a leading producer of flour.
- DuPont is over 200 years old and today, still produces high-quality American Made products across the spectrum of consumer goods.
- America’s oldest firearm manufacturer, Remington is well-known for its high-quality products and longstanding reputation for excellence.
- Where would this list be without a beer manufacturer? Pabst is over 200 years old and is still regarded as one of the most respected domestic beer producers.
There are dozens of other manufacturers that are 150+ years old that aren’t on this list, still producing goods today. The reason? These are the companies that invented Made in America. They know a thing or two about quality.
Quality transcends industry
Whether you’re a food producer or a pharma manufacturer, machine shop or a chemical plant, Made in America means something. Companies that bear this badge of honor know what it means to produce exceptional products — many of them have been doing it for more than a century! It just goes to show that quality is always the way forward and the secret to manufacturing resilience.