I went to American Field, an American-made goods festival, yesterday and it was pretty cool. There were a lot of nice products there. But a lot of the products were also quite expensive, which makes sense because these are new companies battling start-up and capital costs (or are making every product by hand, with no operational efficiency).
Those are great if you’re willing to pay the premium, but it also reminded me of some older American companies that make more reasonably priced products, especially given the quality they’re producing.
- Narragansett Leathers: I now have three of their belts and I love them. They get more supple and nicer as they wear. After wearing their belts for most of the last three years, I recently gave one to each of my groomsmen.
- American Optical: I’ve talked about these before as my “astronaut sunglasses.” They were one of two companies that had the original Navy aviator sunglass contract and as such were the sunglasses of some astronauts. You can pick them up from Amazon.
- Darn Tough: They make great, tough, non-itchy wool socks and especially if you find them on sale, they’re very reasonable. For most of the winter, I wear them as soon as they come out of the laundry.
- Shuron: The same company that made the glasses you picture when you picture NASA engineers and Malcolm X still make those same glasses in South Carolina. I recently got another pair. (I had a pair of Shuron glasses in college but I haven’t had those for years.)
- Lodge: People say that vintage cast iron is much better and there are major design flaws with most cast iron, and that may be true, but I still love my Lodge skillets and they’re cheap.
- Goodwear: I actually only picked up one of their sweatshirts yesterday, but I like it so far.
Any other American companies making good products at reasonable prices?