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July 17, 2011

Things Kansas makes

Here is a sampling of businesses that Kansas is known for and some of the items manufactured here:

* Center Industries, Wichita, manufacturers lightweight products. Some of the things it has made in the past include the weights found in poker chips. It currently makes window frames for the Boeing 737, parts for Cessna Aircraft and the 30-round magazines used in the M-16 rifle and the M4A1 carbine for the Army.

* Chance Manufacturing, Wichita, is the world's leading manufacturer of amusement rides.

* Pioneer Balloon Co., Wichita, is the nation's largest manufacturer of latex and Microfoil balloons. It designed and produced the dove-shaped balloons released during the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics.

* Celestaire, Wichita, is a leading exporter of sextants and corresponding manuals for sea and air navigation.

* Russell Stover, Abilene, first introduced the world to Eskimo Pies eight decades ago. Other chocolate treats soon followed. The company is still one of the largest boxed-chocolate manufacturers in the nation. Kansans can watch the Russell Stover chocolate being made at its plant near Abilene off I-70.

* Vornado Air Circulation Systems, Andover, makes unique fans. The first was manufactured by Wichitan Otis Alton Sutton. He named the fan by combining the words vortex and tornado. It was designed by out-of-work aircraft welders after World War II and looked like a jet turbine engine.

* Miller's Professional Color, Pittsburg, a film developing company, is the largest professional lab organization in the United States. It provides professional prints and press products for professional photographers.

* Wichita's aviation industry includes Spirit AeroSystems, which manufactures parts of every Boeing commercial aircraft; Cessna Aircraft, which builds business jet, turboprop and single-engine aircraft in Wichita and Independence; Hawker Beechcraft, which manufactures business jet, military and special mission aircraft, and Bombardier Learjet, which manufactures business jets.

* Siemens, Hutchinson, a German wind turbine maker, produces wind turbine nacelles, the large oblong structures at the top of the towers that include the generators, gears and electrical systems.

* Mize & Co Inc., Kingman, is nationally known for making wire products, including heavy-duty jumper cables and custom wiring harnesses.

* Flint Hills Solutions, Augusta, provides fully autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

* Tramco Incorporated, Wichita, makes conveyor systems and sells them worldwide.

* Aerosol Company, Neodesha, is the original packager of aerosol products in the world. The company today makes aerosol cans for insecticides, lubricants, tire inflator sealors, brake parts lubricant sprays and automotive chemicals.

* Dessin Fournir, Plainville, has been rated by some of the nation's top interior designers as one of the top manufacturers of furniture.

* Brookover Feed Yards, Garden City, was, in 1951, the first commercial feedyard in the Midwest and remains an industry leader. For more than half a century, the feedyard has fed more cattle than any feedyard in the nation.

* Cobalt Boats, Neodesha, is the leading manufacturer of luxury power boats in the nation.

* Koerperich Bookbinders, Selden, is one of a few binderies in the nation that still bind books by sewing. Selden is in northwest Kansas.

* Grasshopper Company, Moundridge, produced the nation's first commercially viable zero-turn-radius mower in 1969. The company sells mowers internationally. The mower was so named because founder and inventor Elbert Guyer had lived through the Dust Bowl days and remembered how grasshoppers could devour large areas of vegetation quickly.

* Moon Marble Company, Bonner Springs, is one of the few places in the country where you can buy handmade marbles and watch them being made. The company stocks machine-made marbles in a multitude of colors and designs in sizes from pee-wees to 50mm. It also makes about six hand-blown glass marbles each day.

* Sonoco, Hutchinson, is the only paper mill in Kansas using recyclable products. It makes the brown paperboard used in toilet tissue tubes, oatmeal cans, paper tobacco cans, party paper plates, refrigerated dough cans and takeout trays.

* Krause Corporation, Hutchinson, got its start in 1916 when Henry Krause built his first one-way disc plow in his farm shop in Meade County. The one-way was designed to leave more residue on the soil surface to fight wind erosion. Today, the company has become one of the world's top manufacturers of tillage equipment and grain drills.

* Osborne Industries, Osborne, designs and manufactures livestock equipment such as feeders, heating pads, ventilation systems and portable scales.

* Crustbuster SpeedKing, Dodge City, was founded by Michael Hornung in 1960 to manufacture farm machinery. It was innovative because the equipment was capable of covering a large amount of ground, but could then be quickly folded up by the farmer to travel down country roads.

* Titan Trailer Manufacturing, Waterville, builds trailers known for their distinctive nose and framework. Waterville was once known as the Stock Trailer Capital of Kansas.

* Stafford County Flour Mills, Hudson, is one of the last independent flour mills in the nation. It produces Hudson Cream Flour.

* Hemslojd Inc., Lindsborg, is the only shop in the nation that handcrafts Dala-horse-shaped signs and other traditional Swedish crafts. It is the leading Swedish gift catalog and website in the U.S.

* Hospira, McPherson, is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical manufacturer of injectible pain management medicine for use in hospitals.

* Ferguson Production, McPherson, last year made 10 million hummingbird feeders for the Daisy Company, which were sold through Wal-Mart.

* Bradbery Co., Moundridge, manufactures roll-forming and steel coil processing machines. Twenty-seven percent of its total sales come from exports.

* Tony's Pizza, Salina, a Schwan Food Company brand, makes consumer retail frozen pizzas as well as food intended for school cafeterias and other institutions.

* Philips Lighting, Salina, manufactures light bulbs.

* ElDorado National, Salina, is the largest manufacturer of small to midsize transit buses in the United States.

Empires created by Kansans

* Koch Industries, headquartered in Wichita, is the second-largest privately owned company in the world. It is a diversified company specializing in oil and paper products including familiar household brands like Dixie cups and Quilted Northern tissue.

* White Castle originated in Wichita. Started in 1921, by Edgar Waldo "Billy" Ingram, a Wichita real estate and insurance agent and Walt Anderson, who created a tiny, square hamburger, Their first hamburger building was inspired by the design of Chicago's Water Tower —in the shape of a castle.

* Chrysler Corporation in Detroit began in 1924 with a Kansan — Walter Chrysler, who introduced a new car that he designed and named the Chrysler. By the time he died in 1940, his company had become the third- largest automaker in the United States.

* Pizza Hut was started in 1958, when Dan Carney, along with his brother, Frank, opened a pizza parlor in Wichita that soon grew into one of the most successful pizza enterprises in the world.

* Coleman Co. moved to Wichita in 1901 when W.C. Coleman moved his Hydro-Carbon Light Co. from Kingfisher, Okla. and opened a small lamp factory at 128 E. Second. The company, although no longer locally owned, still has manufacturing plants here and has since evolved into one of the world leaders in camping equipment.

* Mentholatum was invented in Wichita by A.A. Hyde, who began experimenting with a menthol-based salve on the family stove. By the turn of the 20th century the Mentholatum Co. was prospering. The company moved decades ago from Wichita to New York.

* Garvey Grain amassed one of the largest grain empires in the world, building huge terminal grain elevators, some of which can still be seen on the outskirts of Hutchinson and Salina.

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