From Price Tags to Process Controls

ohio manufactuing history

Even in the 1800s, bottles and other containers made from glass were precious. Produced by hand, bottles were too expensive for use as “packaging” for milk, beer, and other products. A team of 6 men and several boys, working a 12-hour day, were lucky if they could manufacture 2,800 bottles. In 1903, an Ohio inventor named Michael J. Owens invented a machine that changed the world. The machine produced 9 bottles a minute – 13,000 a day – and only two workers were needed to operate it.  Other Ohio innovations in manufacturing have changed the world. They include the common self-opening grocery sack, tires, bearings, steel, automobiles, cash registers, and pop-top cans. Organization and management move modern manufacturing processes through the key stages that culminate in the final product. They include finding and preparing raw materials; shaping, joining, and assembling; coating, testing, inspecting, and finally packaging. As these stories illustrate, Ohio long has had a rich heritage as a dominant force in manufacturing, albeit less so than it used to be as we shift to a new economy. Contrary to popular understanding, that transition has always been in the making. Organizational, technological and economic efficiency and hence lower per-unit production costs have always been a goal for the application of new tools, techniques and technology to manufacturing. We are here; we are there; we are everywhere. Thus, ubiquitous products from Ohio manufacturing have ruled the world.

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