First Blog Post of the New Year

By December 31, 2005General

Blogging from AustraliaWell, after a few close encounters with some Dingos, all is well in the mobile Australia bureau of the Manufacturers Blog.

Before I write anything more, I should say, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

But its not New Year’s, you say? Ah, but it is in Brisbane, Australia, where we currently find ourselves writing.

Brisbane and Sydney are the first major cities to celebrate New Year’s.

Thanks to our media partner at SixApart who has helped bring attention to the fact that this is the first blog posting of the New Year.

Manufacturers have been on the cutting edge of innovation; often the early adapters–and inventors–of new technology. For this reason, it’s fitting that the first blog entry of 2006 should come from us.

2005 might accurately be described as “the year of the blog” when the number of bloggers soared to some 23 million. The Pew Internet study estimates that about 11%, or about 50 million, of Internet users are regular blog readers.

We’re staying at the Holiday Inn Brisbane, and in a few moments off to South Bank for the festivities. This being New Year’s and all, we took some time to find the ideal manufacturer to profile for part four of our “Manufacturers & New Year’s” edition. We understand from the Blogger-in-Chief that this company is also the subject of today’s “Video of the Week” as part of Cool Stuff Being Made.

So, without further adieu, here is our profile of a very fitting American manufacturer that we wrote earlier in the day:

Some will savor every last minute of 2005 while others will be anxious for this year to conclude. Whatever the interest in watching those last few minutes of 2005 pass, as you ring in the New Year, consider the craftsmanship that goes into a Howard Miller clock. The Zeeland, Mich. based company was founded by its namesake, Howard C. Miller, back in 1926. Mr. Miller was schooled in the fine art of clockmaking by his father, Herman, in the Black Forest region of Germany.

In the 1960s, the company turned its attention to grandfather clocks, eventually earning the company the title of “World’s Largest Grandfather Clock Manufacturer.” Over the years, the company has added new product lines and including collectors cabinets and adding The Hekman Furniture Company, The Woodmark Company and The Kieninger Company of Germany, which makes the moving clock parts, to its corporate portfolio.

Like many manufacturers, they also answered the call of duty during wartime. During World War II, Howard Miller joined forces with the Ford Motor Co. to produce anti-aircraft covers.

If you’re in the market for a new clock, you’ll be pleased to know that the company sells clocks in prices ranging from $5 to $15,000. And, on their Web site, they even have a “lock personality quiz” that will help match up your interests with a clock that they sell based on your answers to questions like “how many times do you look at a clock each day?”

This year, if one of your resolutions is to buy a new clock, remember this fine American manufacturer and NAM member which has a rich tradition and history.

Come back tomorrow for our final look at “Manufacturers & New Years”