Know Ohio: Made in the Buckeye State

Dum Dums, jelly, tires, baskets - Ohioans make it all! Mary shares some of our state's fun factories in this week's Know Ohio.

Class Discussion Questions: 

1) Are there any products made in your town? What are they?

2) Considering Ohio's geography, shipping, and natural resources, why is Ohio a leader in producing a wide range of goods?

Read the Script: 

Oh -- hi! I was just about to indulge in one of my favorite Ohio products – did you know that Dum-Dums have been made in Ohio since they originated in Bellevue in 1924? But this classic candy is far from the only thing made in Ohio!

All over the state, Ohioians are at work making products we see every day – from the cars on the street to the ice cream on our cones. And many of them have a long history in the Buckeye State.

Take, for instance, Smuckers. Known throughout the country for their jams and jellies, the company was founded nearly 120 years ago by farmer Jerome Monroe Smucker. Jerome started out selling apple butter from the back of a horse-drawn wagon -- and today the company is worth billions, but it’s still located in the same city that Jerome called home: Orrville, Ohio.

Not far from Orrville, Akron, is famous for a very different product. The city has been called the “Rubber Capital of the World” because it was home to all the major tire manufacturers at the turn of the century – B.F. Goodrich, Firestone, and Goodyear. And the tires are still rolling out of “Rubber City” – they even produce the tires that are used on Nascar racers!

But if football’s your sport, you’ll want to hike on down to the Wilson Football Factory in Ada, Ohio. It’s the world’s only factory dedicated to footballs – producing 700,000 a year. And a select few of those footballs will go on to be passed, fumbled, and punted in the Super Bowl. The Ada factory has produced every Super Bowl ball since 1941!

But maybe you’re not into sports, maybe what you’re into is a nice picnic – well, our friends at the Longaberger Basket Company in Newark, Ohio have you covered – literally. The Longaberger family has been producing hand-woven picnic baskets in Ohio since the 70s. And if you ever want to visit the company, it’s pretty easy to spot. It’s the building shaped like a giant basket.

So, to sum it up, we’ve determined that Ohio keeps Nascar rolling, is in the Super Bowl every year, and makes baskets in baskets, but that’s not even close to all the stuff we offer in the Buckeye State! So maybe keep your eyes peeled and you’re likely to see all kinds of products made by your fellow Ohioans!    

Instructional Links

PDF: Ohio Development Services Agency, Ohio Made Products, 2013

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