Hey Buddy, can I get a Light?

Some of the most enduring Americana images are those of the 50’s greaser lighting a cigarette, a femme fatal sitting at a bar asking her hero for a light, and the detective reaching for a smoke just before going into the interrogation room. In most cases what they were reaching for was a Zippo lighter. Yes, the Zippo lighters are still made in the USA – in Brandford, PA to be exact – and there are more options than you can imagine. Here are a few:

The Blu2 line offers a butane flame in a stylish package.

While most Zippo lighters are advertised as wind proof the Emergency Fire Starter Kit (above) will not let you down in the rain or snow with its waxed tinder stick and water resistant seal.

There are hundreds of lighter designs including the one above from my favorite show Sons of Anarchy.

The only other lighter we were able to find that was made in the USA is the Peanut, or Split Pea which you can buy from Best Made or Ball and Buck respectively. The cricket is more of an emergency lighter as opposed to an everyday use lighter, but it will make a great addition to your EDC.


From Hilarious Dad-Quotes to Made-in-USA Wall Art

Nathan Ripperger, like most parents, sometimes found himself surprised by the words that came out of his own mouth. He illustrated some of his strangest sayings, just for his own enjoyment.  Except people kept wanting to buy them.

He now has a business called – what else – “Things I’ve Said to My Children.” Check out his artwork and see if it might brighten one of your walls.

Ripperger says, “I’m a father of four boys and who’s married to the best woman in the world. I have been in video production for over eight years and just love creating.” He says his latest works have been, “a great creative outlet and lets me share the joy of parenting with like minded people from all of the world.”

The American-Made Lap-Log is Genius!

If you have an iPad or similar device and tried to use it for reading in bed, you’ve probably discovered its pitfalls. Lay on your back, holding it above your head, and you’ll end up with a sore nose after you doze off and drop it on you face. Lay on your side and it will drop back and crack your partner in the head.

That’s why I just love my new “Lap-Log” by Bamboosa. Produced in the USA, this cute little pillow made of organic twill supports the iPad on your lap or on a table, and you can tilt and squoosh it a bit to adjust the angle of view. A wooden bar support the device from below. Genius!

My Perfect Mug

Mug Revolution

Everybody should own a mug they love, beautifully made like the one above from Mug Revolution, that fits to your hands and warms them as you sip your favorite brew.

I wasn’t a fan of coffee until my mid thirties (and some would say I’m not really a fan now since I can’t drink it without milk and a little sugar). But one thing is certain: I really like drinking out of a hand-thrown mug made by a friend’s wife.  (Shown below – thank you Fran Epstein.) 

There is something very special about finding the correct mug. The appearance, weight, hand-hold and, of course, volume are all key elements in helping you to enjoy that first morning cup. There are literally thousands of Americans making great-looking hand made mugs so all we can give you is a taste. So grab a cup of your favorite morning beverage and enjoy!

The Throwing Shop Mug
NYczack Coffee Mug
LotsaPotsa Blue Blue Flame and Hearts
Nicole Panga Pottery Zombie Cup
Leslie Freeman Designs on Etsy
Wild Card Pottery Tentacle Monster Mug
Symmetrical Pottery Spikey Mug
New England Trading Co.
Master Healer Mug

Not to be outdone by the American craftsperson, both Crate and Barrel and Starbucks offer Made in the USA mugs. In the case of Starbucks, $2 of your purchase goes to the Create Jobs for USA Fund.

Crate and Barrel Cafe Mug
Starbucks Indivisible Mug


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