John Ratzenberger's Made In America

Season 2 Episode 2


Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Dec 07, 2004 on Travel Channel
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Episode Summary

First stop is "The Magic City," Charleroi, Pennsylvania, home to the Pyrex plant. Plant manager "Jack" Jackson gives John the scoop about the invention of the sturdy glassware before taking him on a tour. Then quality assurance associate Edna Maxson shows John how measuring cups are cooled on the last stop on the assembly line, the thermal downshock. Later, he meets with collector Mary Jane Martucci. Next stop is Auburn, Massachusetts, where Wolf Coach mass produces vehicles for the military, police and TV news. John talks with Vice President Richard Wolf... who can't talk about most of the vehicles. Captain John Welch, of the Norfolk County Sheriff's Department, shows John the inside of their command unit. And engineer Steve Spinney details how he helped design a vehicle that scans cargo for contraband. Finally, John gives a history lesson on Hostess Twinkies, and we hear from Lewis Browning, who is a self-proclaimed Twinkie gourmet.moreless

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (2)

      • John Ratzenberger: Now a lot of people wonder how Pyrex got its name. Huh, it's pretty obvious, isn't it? Well, Pyrex, it's... uh... don't tell me. It's Latin. It's, uh, King of Pies. 'Cause "rex" is... Latin for "king," right? And "pie." So it must be King of Pies.

      • John Ratzenberger: In this episode, we visit the Pyrex plant in the magic city of Charleroi, Pennsylvania; nose around a Massachusetts factory that keeps the lines of communication open; and take a sweet bite out of our own past, present and future.

    • NOTES (5)

      • This episode premiered at 9:30pm (ET/PT). "Yankee Candle" premiered immediately preceding.

      • Here's some little-known facts: Charleroi was founded by European immigrants in the late 19th century, who named it after a town in Belgium. Pyrex was dreamed up by Betsy Littleton, whose husband worked for a railroad that contracted Corning to come up with an unbreakable glass. Wolf Coach was founded in 1967 by retired Air Force Colonel Paul Wolf. He died in 1992, and his two sons run the company at present time. The White House proclaimed the Twinkie an object of enduring American symbolism. Jimmy Dewar created Twinkies in 1930, and came up with the name after seeing an ad for Twinkle Toe Shoes. The filling was originally banana, but was switched to vanilla after a banana shortage during World War II.

      • To learn more about Hostess Twinkies, visit their website at

      • To learn more about Pyrex, visit their website at

      • To learn more about Wolf Coach, visit their website at

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • John Ratzenberger: But especially here in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, about an hour's south of Pittsburgh. This is where Stan Musial, Joe Montana and Ken Griffey all grew up.
        Stan "The Man" Musial played baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals. Joe Montana was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. Ken Griffey, Sr. played baseball for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners.

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