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Made in Kentucky - Bowling Balls, Post-It Notes and Houseboats

American RadioWorks (Emily Hanford)

Did you know Kentucky is home to the largest peanut butter production facility in the world? That’s just one of thousands of products made in Kentucky.

While Kentucky is widely known for automobiles, bourbon and award-winning thoroughbreds, the Commonwealth is a melting pot for manufacturing.

Kentucky is home to more than 4,000 manufacturers, representing 220,000 jobs. Last year alone, more than 200 manufacturers announced new locations or expansions in the state. These projects are expected to create nearly 7,500 jobs and $2.2 billion in new investment.

“From some of the world’s most popular foods, to everyday household items to some of the ultimate symbols of luxury, Kentucky’s manufacturing industry is extremely diverse,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “It’s simply amazing how many products that improve our lives are made in the Commonwealth.”

To celebrate October being National Manufacturing Month, Kentucky wants to call attention to some of the well-known – and not so well-known – products made in the Commonwealth. Here are some of the more surprising products being manufactured statewide:

JIF: It takes 188 billion peanuts to produce the amount of peanut butter made at the JIF (J M Smucker) plant in Lexington.

Post-it Notes: Invented in 1968, America’s familiar yellow “sticky note” is manufactured by the 3M Company in Cynthiana.

Bowling Balls: Ebonite bowling balls and equipment are manufactured in Hopkinsville.

Hot Pockets: The popular snack food is made by Nestle Prepared Foods in Mt. Sterling.

Houseboats: Designated as the “Houseboat Capital of the World,” Kentucky is the birthplace of the first houseboat in 1953. Today, the boating industry contributes more than $826 million a year to Kentucky’s economy.

Tiffany engagement rings: Tiffany & Co., in Lexington, produces the classic six-prong engagement ring and other pieces of fine jewelry.

Truffles for the stars: Every guest attending the 86th Academy Awards received a box of truffles handmade by Art Eatables, a Kentucky Proud business in Louisville.

Professional sports jerseys: Life Fitness, in Falmouth, is the premier athletic equipment manufacturer for all MLB and NFL teams, numerous NHL and NBA teams, many college athletics programs and the U.S. military.

Reynolds Wrap: All Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil is produced in Louisville, which is where it was founded in 1919.

Playing cards: The United States Playing Card Company, in Erlanger, produces and distributes the nation’s favorite brands of playing cards, including Bee, Bicycle, Aviator and Hoyle.

Disco Balls: 90 percent of all disco balls made in the U.S. are manufactured by Omega National Products in Louisville.

Story provided by Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

Paul Hitchcock earned his Masters in Communications from Morehead State University and Bachelors in Radio-TV/Psychology from Georgetown College. A veteran broadcaster for more than 40 years and an avid fan of blues, jazz and American roots music. Hitchcock has been with WMKY since 1986 and was named General Manager in 2003. He currently hosts "Muddy Bottom Blues" (Fri., 8pm-9pm), "Nothin' But The Blues" (Sat., 8pm-12am), "Sunday Night Jazz Showcase" and "Live From The Jazz Lounge" (Sun., 8pm-9pm) and "The Golden Age of Radio" (Sun., 2pm-3pm). He also serves as producer for "A Time For Tales" and "The Reader's Notebook."
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