Photos from Trip To The Longaberger Company In Dresden, Ohio (August 22, 1999)
(Click on any of the thumbnails below to view the full-sized photo.)
On 08/22/99 and 08/23/99, I went with my mom to Dresden Ohio to visit the Longaberger Company and make a basket at their "Make A Basket" shop. Dresden is about 250 miles south of Detroit.
The Longaberger corporate headquarters is an interesting building. According to the postcard, each basket handle weighs 75 tons, and is equipped with heat sensors to prevent ice formation.
To be honest, I was a bit surprised at the size and earnings of a company which makes primarily housewares (i.e. baskets). If somebody had told me that there was a company in Ohio which makes baskets, I would have guessed that it had one employee and generated maybe $10,000 in annual sales. I was surprised to discover the Longaberger employes 7,000 people and has annual sales of about $800 million dollars.
The place where we went was quite far from the basket-shaped office building and is called The Longaberger Homestead. The agenda below gives a clue about the general character of the place.
The photo below is the basket showroom.
The photos below are my mom and I posing next to some giant cups.
This is the factory floor. I was amazed--there must have been 50 professional basketmakers making baskets.
The photos below are from a display case. One of the land development possibilities that Longaberger is considering is to create a complex of office buildings shaped like their best-selling baskets. I'm not sure the world is quite ready for this! It also seems like it would negatively affect the resale value of the office buildings if it was ever adventageous to sell them.
Below are photos of Luella and I making a basket. Luella is a professional basketmaking instructor who works for Longaberger.
Here are two miscellaneous photos.
Here is what finally became of my basket--it is my outgoing mailbox.
On the way to or from Dresden or on the way to or from Hell (can't remember which), we discovered Ashley, Michigan or Ashley, Ohio. Below is the Ashley post office and Ashley video.
Somewhere on this trip or another, we saw signs that said "No Jake Brake". I figured that either a Jake Brake was some kind of prohibited equipment, or else a notorious sex offender that they did not want back in the community. A few phone calls confirmed that a jake brake is some kind of exhaust-based brake on heavy trucks that makes a lot of noise.
Finally, in some small town, there was a Gay Street. I just could not imagine this being present in a larger city.
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