John Ratzenberger's Made In America

Season 1 Episode 1

Gibson Guitars

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Jan 06, 2004 on Travel Channel
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Episode Summary

Gibson Guitars
First stop is Nashville, Tennessee, home to the guitar company, Gibson. John chats with country music stars Steve Earle, Dan Seals and Joe Diffie, who all swear by Gibson. Seals and Diffie -- whom John meets with at The Gibson Bluegrass Showcase -- even perform an original song that Seals wrote in honor of their guitars. Later, John heads to the Gibson rough mill, where he sees a Les Paul Supreme (named after the legendary guitarist) being constructed. At the mill, John is given a tour by manager Tom Montgomery, and watches sander Matt Branch, neck-setter Jimmy Wright, waxer Brenda Reid, airbrush artist Rebecca Green, buffer Rich Coleman and tuner Jay Thompson in action. Next stop is Oaks, Pennsylvania, where flag outfit Annin & Co. is located. John chats with V.P. of Manufacturing Carter Beard and flagmaker Gerry Miller, assists with the carrying of a giant flag, makes a bungled effort to sew a star pattern, and provides instructions on how to handle a flag the patriotic way. Finally, John gives a history lesson on SPAM.moreless

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (2)

      • John Ratzenberger: From Music City, USA to Flag City, USA, we now head to SPAM Town USA. That's right, SPAM. No, not the garbage that shows up in your email. This is the wonderful spiced ham that's in your pantry... and my guitar case.

      • John Ratzenberger: The next time you see one of them, be sure to pause for a moment and consider everything it stands for. And when handling a flag, please observe the proper etiquette -- raise it up the pole fast and bring it down more solemnly. And when folding the flag, fold it 13 times. Each fold representing such noble sentiments as patriotism, courage, faith, honor and gratitude towards our Armed Forces for making the ultimate sacrifice.

    • NOTES (6)

      • Features archival footage of Les Paul, Bob Marley, Jimmy Page, B.B. King and The Edge.

      • This episode premiered at 9:00pm (ET/PT). "Harley Davidson" premiered immediately following.

      • Here's some little-known facts: Every track on Steve Earle's first album, "Guitar Town," was recorded on a borrowed Gibson -- which he refused to return afterwards. Gibson's guitars are mostly made out of mahogany, maple and rosewood. Gibson was founded by Orville Gibson, who originally made mandolins and banjos. Annin & Co. is the worldest oldest and largest flag-manufacturing company in the U.S. They produce almost 2 million flags a year. Carter Beard's family, the Johnsons, emigrated to America from Annandale, Scotland, and changed their last name to Annin in honor of their hometown. The company got its start when Alexander Annin began sewing and selling nautical flags in 1820. Annin flags adorned Abraham Lincoln's coffin in 1865 and the moon in 1969. SPAM was invented by Hormel Foods in 1926, but didn't bear that name until a few years later. The coining of the name, a combination of "spiced" and "ham," helped it become a hit. SPAM was used to feed America's troops during World War II. 90 million lbs. of it were shipped overseas during the war. SPAM Town USA, Hormel's museum plant in Austin, Minnesota, is a popular tourist attraction. SPAM is considered a delicacy in South Korea.

      • To learn more about Hormel SPAM, visit their website at

      • To learn more about Annin & Co., visit their website at

      • To learn more about Gibson Guitars, visit their website at

    • ALLUSIONS (0)