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 Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.

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MisterE
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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:04 pm

I think the concept of planned obsolescence came around after the great depression as a way to stimulate consumerism. I agree it's rather "bovine fecal" myself, but it does keep people buying- and a lot of companies selling. Neutral

This is a cool video:

http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/89006/The_Lightbulb_Conspiracy___The_untold_story_of_Pla/

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Greyson

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:02 am

Hmm, I wasn't going to post on this given the patriotic context, but I figured you guys would forgive me eventually: I converted away from Maglites years ago. I had several models, including the insane 6 cell D, and I was pretty happy with them. Then one day I had to change the light on my bike and the shop recommended I try one of these new fangled LED lights, and it blew me away, only a 6 inch light that produced a much better luminosity than any of my maglites.

I didn't want to move away from maglites, so I checked their product range hoping they would produce similar models, but they did not make any LED torches at all at the time. So I asked around and eventually wound up buying a hand torch from a Premium LED torch maker in Germany, Led lenser. Since then I've had a Cyan self defence torch from them, a red wildlife torch, a waterproof diving torch and the torch I take out with me every night walking the dog, the P14 high performance. They are all superb, and to be honest, each one was probably better than any maglite I'd ever had. If you look on youtube there are a lot of torch comparison videos and reviews, the maglites often do not do well. Led lenser used to have a comparison chart on each of its torches, and they always showed a 'Brand X' which was clearly a maglite, and there really wasn't any comparison in performance. I haven't seen it for a while, maybe maglites are better now, maybe they took them down, I'm not sure. But if anyone was looking for a good torch, I wouldn't go anywhere but to Led lenser.

I've been trying to find a way to afford their searchlight for years, I don't need a searchlight, I just.... want... one. I was going to get one as a wedding gift years ago, but the wedding never happened. Still it's not all bad, that version was only 1000 lumens, the NEW version (X21R) is 1600 lumens! So many unnecessary lumens! Take that other dog walkers!



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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:02 am

Greyson, there's no doubt that Maglite fell behind in LED technology. Here recently there has been a push within that company to 'move forward' with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it's taken them several years to do this.

They did just release 2 new Tactical LED lights with over 300 Lumens and running off of CR123 batteries (a first for them). So maybe, and it's a big maybe, they finally got the hint and are developing lights to compare with LED Lenser, Streamlight, Fenix, and a few other really good ones.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:10 pm

It's only a mild patriotic jab, Greyson, no worries. Laughing

There's two points to this. One, if the united states wants to be the Jabba the Hutt of the world, sitting on ones arse and shoving everything Chinese in its mouth, that's great. The story didn't end too well for him and his gang. If we actually made things other than sales outlets and customer service centers to support products and revenue that isn't even ours, we'd be ahead of the curve.

The second tie-in is the whole "what's better" ideal. Maglite, by example, has stayed relevant because it doesn't change quickly. Like an opiate, we're addicted to the words "bigger, better, faster, brighter, stronger, younger..." etc. We've been conditioned this way. So much so, we'll do anything to get it.

Maglite makes a flashlight for my use, here's why:

* Readily-available batteries -- try getting specialty batteries out in the sticks, 200 miles from any major town. Price is better on standard cells, too.

* Multiple uses -- I used a Maglite to get a truck unstuck from the mud, literally... because there were few branches or rocks for the tire to grip...the Maglite made it a breeze. It held under the strength of a full-size Ford pickup. And it still works.

* Customer support and availability -- Need a battery spring? Lose your lens? Did the thing leak? Here have another one, our apology. Free of charge. Have a nice day.

I was the distribution manager of a battery warehouse for over three years, before I went skipping off to be a field geologist. There's a big joke in the battery business that "...flashlights are there to do one thing: make money off battery sales." It's true. That's why rechargeable batteries are the bread and butter of battery peddlers. That's why specialty batteries like CR123's are popular. Government contracts originally started using these "photo cells" (a camera battery originally) due to form factor and power/light requirements for rescue and special operations. They're expensive to make, expensive to buy, and have no power advantages over standard cells. When someone realized all they had to do is put "military spec" on something to gain its following, well then, it was all over. Everyone wanted bigger, brighter, better, more "hoo-rah" flashlights. Then came the numbers. Like "candlepower" became the spotlight market buzzword for "lumens" when the handheld searchlights were the rage 10 years ago, "watts" was popular for "lumens" in flashlights. Neither mean crap to output, in fact, "watts" refer to power consumption. People wised up (finally) and now some companies are including "lumens" as a measure of actual light. It doesn't change much, and brings up a point: the brighter something is, the more power it eats up. A standard CR123 battery has about 10% more mAh than a AA battery. Smaller batteries and more power consumption? There really is no new news on battery technology, I hate to say it. That's the part that matters. More pills to swallow: the brightness of a flashlight diminishes, ever so slightly, each second it is on. In LED bulbs, the pulse rate (Hz), as it gets less power, diminishes, too (LEDs work by turning on and off really, really fast). In any case, the numbers that sold the flashlight were with fresh batteries in the first ten seconds it was on. You're getting less than that each day, anyway. Put that along side specialty batteries or proprietary batteries like rechargeable packs (which will and do fail eventually)...those companies have ya hooked, boy.

So, I'd put my $30 Maglight, use for use, day to day, against any $300 "spec" torch. They are cheap, tough, simple, common, and I'm not out there with a light meter/extinction meter obsessing about exactly how many lumens are shining on whatever I'm doing. I know the company will back me up, because they always have done so--the point to this whole thing (it was just bound to get out of hand, might as well grease the works Laughing ).

Reasonable companies with good products that feature excellent support. Made by Jabba the Hutt...I mean... USA. Razz

(If you're just a flashlight nerd and love specifications, well, fair game. Carry on. My apologies.)

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monbla256

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:22 pm

As 'behind the times" as some may see Maglite being, there is a whole lot to be said for their adherence to the KISS principle in their product Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:44 pm

Hey, don't badmouth Fiskars, they still do some awesome stuff, like the classic Fiskars scissors that are still made here. I've had a pair since I was a teenager, in heavy use all these years and I haven't even needed to get it sharpened. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:53 pm

Googling "Fiskars scissors" . . .

cat What a Face study
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Greyson

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:57 pm

I was going to but I'm not brave enough, plus I'm still grappling with Kyle's Jabba the Hutt USA...

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:00 pm

Or Jabba the Hutt scissors... hmmm, somehow that makes me think of that "people of wal-mart" -link someone posted elsewhere...
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Steveaux

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:04 pm

beetlejazz wrote:
Hey, don't badmouth Fiskars, they still do some awesome stuff, like the classic Fiskars scissors that are still made here. I've had a pair since I was a teenager, in heavy use all these years and I haven't even needed to get it sharpened. Razz

Fiskars scissors, famous for the "Fiskars Feel", are also made here. I know. I built two of the assembly machines that produce them.

I still have a couple two-gallon zip bags full of pre-production samples of their kiddie scissors, and a few dozen full-size.
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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:47 pm

I much prefer my mag light over my LED in some cases and sometimes it is the other way around. I know when I go after turtles at night the mag light works better to shine in the water than the led. The 123 batteries do not last as long and are more expensive than the rechargeable one that I buy every now and then. but the led performs better when working on cars or when I need a larger area lit.
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Dave_In_Philly

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:02 am

I have a Fiskars X25 Splitting Axe and love that thing more than life itself.


Steveaux wrote:
Case is in Bradford, Pa. Same as Zippo.

riff raff wrote:
Buck knives, I assume they are made in the US? Knife makers may be the largest US maker? (Case, etc)

Both Buck and Case do still make some knives in the US, but the vast majority of the knives sold with their logos are made in China. Shrade (not mentioned yet) is completely Chinese now. Patriotic xenophobia aside, the last Shrade Old Timer I bought is garbage.
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Simple Man

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:16 am

Missouri Meerschaum made in the USA by Americans using good ol' American corn! Very Happy Laughing
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i.keenum

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:49 pm

Watkins flavor extracts are still made in usa.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:50 pm

i.keenum wrote:
Watkins flavor extracts are still made in usa.

Heh, that was random.

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i.keenum

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:54 pm

Thought it followed the thread lol.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:08 pm

American Microsemiconductor! Everyone use them! You know, if you need awesome US-made diodes. Laughing

Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:38 pm

Just happened to be cooking and reading the thread at the same time.
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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:45 pm

Greyson, perhaps I should've named the thread a little differently. It wasn't particularly meant to be a 'patriotic' thread, but more a tribute to good companies out there that build products that last (rare these days), are built like tanks, and have outstanding customer service.

I would boast of any company, regardless of their country of origin, if the said company built time-tested and proven products and really stood behind them.

For instance, the most reliable car I've ever had was an old '89 Toyota Camry. You just couldn't kill those little Toyota engines, and look at how many of them outlasted the cars they were mounted in (and are still running today).
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:02 pm

Rob_In_MO wrote:
I would boast of any company, regardless of their country of origin, if the said company built time-tested and proven products and really stood behind them.

For instance, the most reliable car I've ever had was an old '89 Toyota Camry. You just couldn't kill those little Toyota engines, and look at how many of them outlasted the cars they were mounted in (and are still running today).

This. My first car, 1978 Toyota Corolla hatchback. Sold it to a friend moving to Massachusetts some years back. It died with 181,000 miles on the odo. My current 97 4Runner "Gretta" has just under 270,000 miles and she's my trusty mule.

With the global trade we've gotten ourselves in, being patriotic out of purchasing is pointless. We first have to accept quality before we can accept origin, and if the game changes, well, so goes the competition as well. I would like to see all countries making good shit and competing, having great customer service and innovations down the road.

This is a challenge to disposable, shallow, convenient society overall, not patriotism.

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:47 am

Lodge Castiron Cooking stuff. Made in TN.
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i.keenum

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:54 am

Ya I really like their cast iron stuff.
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sand18f

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:56 pm

Ingalls Shipyard
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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:36 pm

Daniel Smith!!! cheers

Seriously, if these were more easily available to Finland, I would probably paint mostly with DS watercolours (excluding the cobalt blue, which I like better in Winsor&Newton). The quality is just that damn good and the selection of available pigments is without a competitor. Winsor&Newton makes great watercolour paints too, but DS has better tubes, and where it really boils down to preference, some of the DS paints are just plain more pleasant to handle for me.

+, they are a joy to deal with, and often slip something extra in a bigger order.
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