Wednesday, January 23, 2013

American Made

Longaberger flower planter
Filled with blooming plants, these large baskets
 line the streets of Dresden, OH, the site of the
Longaberger manufacturing plant. 
I purchased my first Longaberger basket in the early 90s, and if I looked hard enough, I could find the exact year because it is written on  the bottom of each basket. That information wasn't placed there by me, but by the weaver. Yes, these maple baskets are hand-woven and are Made in America. Marilyn and I visited Dresden, OH several years ago to tour the plant, so let me share some photos with you.

Disclaimer: I have nearly a hundred Longaberger baskets in all shapes and sizes in my house because I love them so much. (I was not paid to write this post, I am a satisfied customer.)
Each basket starts with a form.
Note that it is attached to the black frame in front of the weaver. 
Some of the baskets have colored bands woven into them.
Thousands of baskets were being made the day Marilyn and I visited.
As you can see the plant is HUGE and employes a lot of people.
This was just the weaving section. 
Pallets of baskets waiting to be inspected or for handles to be attached. 
A worker adds handles to a basket.
One of the final steps is staining. The company
has a traditional stain (shown in this photo) and
a darker stain. Sometimes baskets are offered
with a white-wash or other colors. 
Finished baskets awaiting shipment.
I use the baskets for holding trash, laundry, recycling, yarn, knitting projects, towels, beauty products, storing odd bits, and for decorating. Every room in my house has at least one Longaberger basket.
Longaberger Office Building
I can't find my photo (the photo above was found online), but even the company office is a shaped like a basket.

Not all of Longaberger's products are Made in America, but I know for a fact that their baskets are. I encourage you to support companies that manufacture products in America and put Americans to work.

Do you own any Longaberger baskets and are you as crazy about them as I am?

17 comments:

  1. How interesting and love the building!

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  2. Wow, that's a big production factory! I don't have a Longaberger basket, but I love baskets and have several handwoven, handsplit oak baskets (most of them made by a family in Louisiana). I even have a couple of handwoven sweetgrass baskets. You can never have too many baskets, in my opinion.

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  3. I have dozens of Longaberger baskets and love them all. I really like the Americana ones.

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  4. I think I have one. I better look on the bottom of it. My son brought it home with him from college....I suspect someone's mom out there is missing a basket.....
    he had a plant in it.

    Fascinating images Nancy. My great Uncle was a basket weaver in Hungary...

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  5. I don't have any Longaberger baskets, but I have seen them and they are lovely. I love the photo of the factory. How cute! g

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  6. I refuse to wholly answer the questions on the grounds that it might incriminate me.

    I have *hem* several Longaberger baskets, made one when we went to tour the Homestead, factory and offices, and had a tantrum when I was unable to go to the special weave-your-own I signed up for in my beloved Williamsburg a few years ago. My sister's husband secured a VERY special place in my heart when on my birthday, I learned that HE had been the friend of my sister's who took my spot, and that basket was my gift. Heck, I'm misty just recalling it!

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  7. I don't have any Longaberger baskets, but I think they are beautiful.

    It's really HARD to find some things made in America (thinking clothes here), that are affordable. I went to a store in Scottsdale, AZ that had ONLY American made clothing. It wasn't my style (too young) AND it was very, VERY pricey. I just couldn't justify the cost.

    Sneakers are the same --- you really can't find an American made running shoe. I think even New Balance outsources now. :-(

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  8. WOW!! How interesting...and No I don't have any Longaberger Baskets...I do have a handmade Bread Basket I bought in the USA.... It is dated and hand signed... I bought it on our trip across Canada...we came back thru the USA...and I think I got it in Amish Country...It has the date and Handmade by Jonas Borkholder family 9-18-06 written on the bottom... I love it!!

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  9. All of the baskets are American made and Longaberger is in the process of bringing the pottery factory back to America. Which will be great.

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  10. Wow! What a factory. I do not have any of the baskets but I will be looking at yours more closely.
    Rebel Follower

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  11. I have loved longaberger since my first party back in 1990, In 1998 I became a sales consultant with them and sold for 5 years. I did very well --receiving well over 20 award baskets throughout those years.I had 7 women under me who also sold, but never quite made it into the management tiers of the company. When the company made diverse changes in 2003 I left the company but it never left my heart. I have probably owned over 400 baskets through the last 23 years but have sold almost all of them some quite recently while Tom hasn't been working At this point in time I have about 12 fully used baskets! I am happy to hear they are bringing the pottery back to the US, I toured the pottery facilities years ago and was very very impressed. I have also been at Headquarters many times, and to the town of Dresden where it all began, I was lucky enough to meet Dave the year before he died, and have met both of his daughters and several of his siblings. Around here the novelty of them has worn off and you seldom hear of a Longaberger party at all anymore.

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  12. Your post and all the comments today are so interesting. I do not own a Longaberger basket, but I think they are beautiful. The factory pictures, and especially the office building ...all so unique.

    I am a proponent of buying American products too, and putting Americans to work.

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  13. They are lovely baskets, I don't think we have them here in Canada...

    One of the nice things about those baskets is they most likely would not be drenched in pesticides like those coming from China.

    I will keep my eyes open, you never know what will show up here.

    Jen

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  14. I have two Longaberger baskets which I love! I never imagined how or where they were made and I certainly would not have guessed that their offices are in a basket. LOL!

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  15. Isn't that amazing that they are handmade! I also love the creativeness behind the design in their office building.

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  16. Wow, that is simply amazing, so many baskets inside of that basket! It is so refreshing to hear that the factory employs actual people apart from robot engineers like many others.

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  17. I enjoyed the photos of the factory! I do not own a Longaberger basket that I am aware of..I have never heard of them before. I will keep one eye out for them:)

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