The Saga of the Iron: Made in USA


Our iron bit the dust recently and we really wanted to find a new one that was American-made. We’ve decided that, when something reaches the end of its useful life, we’ll make a solid effort to find a Made-in-USA replacement.

We checked out our local Sears, which had many brands in stock, but not one made in the USA. An online search brought up some blog posts that recommended Oreck brand irons. Unfortunately, the Oreck website currently lists their one iron as no longer available.

Just for fun, we searched ebay and what did we find but a Made-in-USA General Electric steam iron, still new in the box, that dates to sometime in the mid-1970’s.
Is it safe to use a 40 year old appliance? Who knows? It just came in the mail so I guess we’re going to find out! Fingers crossed.

Update, April 5, 2016: More than two years later, it still works like a charm!


Americanologist Hall of Shame #1

An ebay seller that goes by the name of charms.bead.bracelet is offering Chinese-made charms using “Made in USA” as a design element. The ebay page clearly states that the charms were made in China, but a retail buyer would not see that anywhere on the item. We posted a complaint on their page and reported the item to ebay. Two days later, the auction was “ended” and the charms were re-listed as a new item.

All-American Pop-up Market

In September 2013, we went to the All-American Pop-up Market in Boston, organized by a group called American Field. There were over 50 vendors at the show with goods ranging from shoes to hats,leather goods and items for the home.


The market was held at a very cool building, The Historic SOWA Power Station in Boston, built in 1891 was the largest of its kind in the world. Today, it’s the site of shows, markets, festivals and even wedding receptions.

The L.L. Bean Bootmobile was parked out front.

The folks from the Ball and Buck store in Boston brought along their barber and gave haircuts in the back of a pickup truck!


We watched an employee of L.L. Bean put together one of its signature tote bags. Yes, L.L. Bean still makes some items here in the US and they were on display.


We stopped by the Rancourt booth too. Not only did we get to watch them stitch a classic penny loafer, I ended up spending a good half hour using their custom design page to create a bunch of wish-list shoes for myself.

This table was, from Tyler Casey Designs, was one of the most beautiful items at the market.

What I Got For Christmas


Buying American: It can be done! This Christmas I asked for gifts made in America. It’s not the easiest or the cheapest thing to do, but we felt good supporting American businesses: Here’s what I got:
Felling Axe from Council Tool in Lake Waccamaw, NC
Bacon-making kit from 7 West Charcuterie in Seattle
Baseball Glove-scented soap from ManHands Soaps in Lincoln Nebraska
Wool Shirt from Best Made Company in NYC.
Cheese-making kit from Urban Cheesecrafters in Portland.
Maple Mesquite BBQ sauce and Bloody Mary Ketchup from Williams Sonoma.
Bison, beef and turkey grass-fed energy bars from Epic Bars in Austin TX.
Leather gloves from Geier Glove Company in Centralia, Washington.
Boubon barrel barbeque wood from Bourbon Barrel Foods in Louisville, Kentucky.


One couple's search for a Made-in-USA lifestyle