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Keep Your American-Made Goods Under an American-Made Lock and Key
Our Buy American Mention of the Week!
by Roger Simmermaker
July 1, 2006

I'd be willing to bet that at sometime or another, just about everyone has needed or used some sort of lock or padlock. Maybe it's to lock up your gear at the gym or the "Y," maybe to lock up your bicycle, your tackle box, your toolbox, or perhaps the shed in your backyard - the one with all of your gardening tools. Are you beginning to think there might be more uses for a padlock in your life than you previously thought?

But before you decide to head down to the hardware store to pick up a Master Lock or two, let me tell you one more thing. They are no longer made in USA. That's right, a few years ago Master Lock moved their production to Mexico. And while it may have taken several years for the giant sucking sound of NAFTA's winds to reach them - it finally did.

That's not to say the news is all bad for us Buy American types. It's not and that's because there's an American company that's been making locks since back in Abraham Lincoln's day. And they're 100%-made right here in America. No foreign parts. No foreign brass or steel. Pure American metal.

They are the Wilson Bohannan Company and they began producing locks in 1860. Today they remain the oldest family-owned padlock company still making padlocks in America. At their website, you can view their wide variety of locks for various applications. Need a padlock that's rustproof and weatherproof with shackle clearances from 5/8" - 8"? Wilson Bohannan's got it. And they're available in brass, steel and stainless steel.

Each lock can be customized and stamped with your name, company name or logo. My non-customized padlock features the Wilson Bohannan logo on one side and an engraved American flag on the other, with "Proudly Made in America" displayed underneath. And any questions you might have can be answered by their knowledgable, American-based professionals. No outsourcing for Wilson Bohannan, something that's much appreciated by their customers.

Wilson Bohannan does most of their business with other businesses rather than with the consumer, and so they don't offer locks in quantities less than one dozen. But I believe that there are probably lots of patriotic consumers out there like me that may only need a lock or two, and so I wanted to offer these fine American-made locks on my own website at If you need a lesser quantity than a dozen, I am offering just the one type of lock - the Wilson Bohannan keyed padlock model 511 with a 1 1/2" solid brass body and vertical shackle clearance of 7/8" - in small quantities. The model 511 solid brass padlock also features a horizontal shackle clearance of 25/32" and a heavy duty shackle diameter of 9/32". You can view this brass lock by going to, selecting "catalog" and clicking on Series 5.

Wondering just what a keyed padlock with a shackle clearance of 7/8" would be useful for? Well, in addition to some of the items mentioned at the beginning of this article, they're also good for things like luggage, lockers and display cabinets.

This quality American-made keyed padlock can be yours for only $6 plus $3 shipping. The shipping charges will be adjusted to less than $3 per lock to reflect actual shipping charges if three or more locks are ordered for the same address.

So now you know that you don't have to buy a Mexican-made Master Lock to keep your belongings safe and secure. Wilson Bohannan locks may cost a little more, but just think of it as an investment in your country. BJ's Wholesale Club had a slogan a few years back that I think pertains to Wilson Bohannan too: "When you buy something, you're doing more than just making a purchase - you're making an investment."

As Americans, we enjoy a lot of benefits by being citizens of this great country. But if we never make the investment, we won't continue to reap those benefits. And the best way to invest in this country is with our consumer dollars at the stores (or in this case - on the web).

So invest in America by keeping the purchases you've invested in under an American-made lock and key, and keep more American jobs here by buying locks made by the Wilson Bohannan Company.

Roger Simmermaker is the author of "How Americans Can Buy American: The Power of Consumer Patriotism." He also writes "Buy American Mention of the Week" articles for his website and is a member of the Machinists Union and National Writers Union. Roger has been a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC and has been quoted in the USA Today, Wall Street Journal and US News & World Report among many other publications.


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