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Archive for the ‘Household Products’ Category

Pyrex – the brand that 75% have in our cupboards – the tempered glass cookware that we use to cook and tote baked beans, casseroles, and sweet potatoes to Thanksgiving dinners, Super Bowl parties, and to our dining room tables – is, indeed, made in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. 

Pyrex is a Corning product that was originally developed as a lantern glass for railroad signals.  The signals were subjected to intense heat and would often break when hit with rain or snow.  Pyrex is a “low expansion” glass made from silica and a smattering of other materials.  It is cooked at over  3000 degrees to mold a extremely heat resistant product that is exceptionally durable.  It has the extraordinary characteristic of absorbing heat rather than reflecting heat – which, regular glass, porcelains and enamels tend to do.  Pyrex is also see through (as we know)- allowing bakers to easily check when their dish is finished by gazing through the bottom.  pyrex

As legend has it – Pyrex became a consumer produt after a wife of a Corning employee implored her husband to bring home some of the material that his company had developed – she had heard about its resistance to heat and its durability.  What she discovered was that the “cookware” had some astounding properties - it was incredibly durable, food cooked eveningly within the dishes and in less time, and it was naturally “non-stick”.  The husband and wife pair took the idea to the product designers and Corning cookware was born.  It took years to persuade kitchen goers that glass was a suitable cookware – but, eventually the product would become one of the most widely used and recognized brand names in American kitchens.

Pyrex is distributed worldwide and has always been manufactured in Pennsylvania.  They do import some of their plastic coverings and other metal products, such as their Grip-Rite products – but the rest originates in Charleroi.

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If you’re the type of person that would be interested in buying natural, safe cleaning products from a local company – check out Norristown, Pa based Sun & Earth.  You’ll recognize their logo if you’ve browsed the store aisles for something a bit less caustic than some of the brand name cleaners that litter the shelves.  Sun & Earth prides itself in creating cleaners and other household products that sunandearth2are phosphate free, chlorine free, dye & perfume free.  Their secret is the use of plant, fruit and vegetable oils that are extremely effective and umpteen times more healthy for you and the environment.

The company was purchased a few years ago by a socially responsible venture fund  established by Ben Cohen – the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s.  It is fascinating to note that 20% of the company was more-or-less given to the employees as part of the arrangement.  I suppose invested employees are more likely to really work hard to make their product successful and something they would use around their own homes.

Take a moment to read some of the product testamonials – you’ll note that some customers are using the cleaners as laundry detergents, others swear by the performance of the products, and you will also see that the sensitive skin types are extremely happy with the product.  In any case, you should check-out their products and their website – what a great Pennsylvania company.

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Church & Dwight, the manufacturer of Arm & Hammer branded products, Oxi-Clean, and a wide variety of other consumer products, announced yesterday that it will re-locate a detergent manufacturing operation to York County Pennsylvania.  The move to PA was decided after a year long search of trying to find a cost-effective and strategic location - York County fit the bill with access to highways and close proximity to major markets.  Construction will start on the 1.1 sq. ft. facility in Sept. 2008 and be finished in 2009.  Church & Dwight has announced that the new facility will reflect its commitment to sustainability – The site design reflects Church & Dwight’s long-standing concern for the environment – the facility will use 30% less energy, produce 50% less solid waste and use renewable energy sources for on-site processing needs.  The company is offering transition plans for some of the N.J. work-force and they are going to hire a substantial number of Pennsylvanians – perhaps, numbering in the hundreds.  Church & Dwight is a $2.2B company and says that its detergent divison is its most important in terms of future growth.

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Two architects in Bermuda, stuck on the idea that toothbrushes needn’t be ugly, hard-bristled, and awkward, launched RADIUS toothbrush in 1982.  The two men relocated to New York for better access to the right talent and resources and officially started producing a one-of-a-kind product that would soon develop an avid following. Their perfect toothbrush has 4x more bristles than an Oral B that were 2/3rd the thickness.  It had the first ever round head and bristle alignment that cut down on gum wear and tear.  The unique and attractive toothbrush was awarded the Accent on Design award on 1984 for having the most innovative use of design.  The company soon grew out of its New York facility and relocated to Kutztown, Pa, purchasing and restoring a historical 20,000 sq. ft. brick mill built in 1863.  The company remains in Kutztown and has a dedicated following that has included Robert Redford, Sting, Whoopi Goldberg and Cher.  Check out their website to order the orginal RADIUS toohbrush and support your fellow Pennsylvanian businesses,

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If you’re the type of person that runs into some dirty situations and has called upon your vacuum cleaner to do do some outrageous jobs – then you are most likely a customer of Williamsport, Pa based Shop-Vac. Shop-Vac is the industry leading brand because of its 40 years of experience putting long-lasting, strong suctioning, quality, American made products into the hands of consumers and industry professionals to do ultra dirty work. Shop-Vac is the duct tape of power tools…a product that is so darn useful for so many different and unusual things that everyone should consider owning one.  If you browse some of the product stories on the company’s website, you will get a chuckle out of some of the stories about using Shop Vac vacuums…anything from using the vacuum as a snow blower to using it to remove yellow jackets from a ground nest or even using the vacuum to remove loose dirt when digging post holes.  What a great product for Pennsylvanians…made by Pennsylvanians.

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All-Clad began producing artisan cookware in the 1970′s after discovering that bonding (cladding) different metals together gave the resulting product heating qualities not found in individual metals.  The cladded products proved to be ideal for cooking and the company began marketing professional quality cookware products.  All-Clad developed a strong following amongst professional chefs and other avid cookers because of the cookware’s “extraordinary qualities, striking aesthetics and exemplary cooking performance of this revolutionary bonded cookware.”  Today, the company enjoys the reputation of manufacturing the finest pieces of cookware in the world.  It is the only bonded cookware that is made in the United States and is manufactured with all American made materials.  Company Website

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If you’re in the market for a restaurant quality stove for your home, perhaps a custom colored, hand-crafted, gas stove with both the bluestar2ability to cook at very high and very low temperatures - your first stop should be Reading based Prizer Painter to take a look at BlueStar stoves.  Prizer Painter has been in business since that 1880′s and is still manufacturing stoves in Reading.  The company has adapted over the years, originally selling coal ranges and furnaces, later it focused on restaurants and businesses, now the company sells high-end residential stoves with the helping hand of celebrity chefs.  The company has a cult-like following and describes itself as a small company, but folks from all over the country and world fly to test out the stoves in the Reading showroom.  Company Website.

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