Cool Stuff Being Made: How Kiwi Shoe Polish is Made

By March 31, 2007Cool Stuff Being Made

Nothing like a good shoe shine to set off a nice wardrobe — or to pick up a drab one. For any of you who, like us, spent hours in your youth shining shoes, you will be quite familiar with Kiwi Shoe Polish, a division of proud NAM member Sara Lee, and another great American manufacturing name.

Here from our good friends at PCN Tours is a tour of the Kiwi plant in Douglassville, Pennsylvania. First found in 1906 in Melbourne< Australia by Sir William Ramsey, Kiwi (named in honor of Sir Williams' wife, who was a New Zealander), it made its way to the US and became a staple of World Wars I and II. Plant manager John Hughes takes you on a tour, beginning with four key kinds of waxes -- mineral, carnuba, paraffin and crystalline - and wending their way all the way through the paste and polish, packaging and out the door. So put up your newly-shined shoes, sit back and click here to watch this week’s video of Cool Stuff Being Made — and feel the manufacturing vibe.