Horseshoe Nails.

For the last forty years or so, the trend in American politics, culture and the intellectual elites of the country has been to ignore the deindustrialization of the country. In fact the elites have been enablers of the process through polices and behaviors that strangled the industrial companies and their business.

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You Don’t Have To be Young To Be A Maker

While I was making breakfast a story was running on the local news. It was about this.

I thought that the story was interesting  for a variety of reasons. One, was that the ladies were dealing with a problem and came up with an innovative solution. Two, they did the prototyping in the Westport CT library, right next door to me, but perhaps more significantly was that the product development was done in the library at all.  Third, the people doing this are dedicated to getting their product made here, in the US.  The very thing that so many say cannot be done.  They managed to do it though. Here is their vendor, I think.[ Corrected the vendor was not Marlborough plastics.]

Instead it was these folks.


This company is typical of the many small manufacturers here in Connecticut.  I like to say that I can throw a stone and get just about anything I want made. Getting stuff made is not impossible, just hidden.  You have to know where to go to find the vendors you need. The best place to start to find vendors in your area is the Thomas Register.

You can also look for local trade shows for manufacturing–manufacturing

You can also check for the local Small Manufacturers Association a try.

The fact is that here in the US there is no reason why you can’t fulfill a kickstarter right here in the states. It can also be a very good thing to do.  American manufacturers are far more likely to maintain quality and much less likely to turn around and manufacture their product for themselves. In my experience, American vendors would rather build a relationship with you than go for the quick buck by stealing your product.  They will also work hard to maintain that relationship because they have to look you in the eye and you will be talking about them, good and bad.

As for the Negg, this is a perfect example of how to do it.  It’s also just how powerful the technologies that are available to just about everybody and how to leverage those technologies to create and innovate.  How this will disrupt how things are done is going to be exciting.



Great Grandpa’s Watch

A while back I posted some videos of old watchmaking factories.  The videos went through how those wonderful watches were made.

I followed up shortly after with another post showing how a mechanical pocket wacth works.

Recently I inherited an ELGIN WATCH!! this watch had been my great grandfather Duthee’s watch back when he ran the hardware and feed store in Pullman WA. This is strictly a workingman’s watch with no frills or extras, just sound construction and good timekeeping. Here are some pictures.

I did some checking and found some databases with a bunch of Elgin watch information including databases with the production dates of every Elgin watch.

The watch was fabricated in 1882 or 1883 and more than likely my great grandfather mail ordered it about that time.  He then carried it for the rest of his life and it was passed down to my grandmother and finally to me. It doesn’t currently run as I don’t have a key to wind it.  It needs to be cleaned anyway.  I hope to get it cleaned and make it my very retro daily timepiece.



Industrial Sales Models

This interesting article showed up on Boing Boing the other day.

This is manufacturing for a market that I’ve seen but not known much about.  The idea here is to make the kits as simple as possible to assemble and rather durable rather than attempting for the highest degree of fidelity to the prototype.  Looking at the catalog they made some interesting stuff.

Click to access toppings_1961.pdf