We continued with our tour of factories in York County with an unlikely but fascinating pair.
We visited the Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations plant in York. Harley-Davidson opened their first motorcycle factory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1906 and is the only manufacturer of motorcycle in the United States.. They opened their assembly factory in York in 1973. The manufacture parts including frames, fenders and fuel tanks along with assembling a few of the models in York. Unfortunately they are currently assembling 2012 models on the line so we were not able to view the assembly line, but we did get a tour through the parts manufacturing area. Harley-Davidson uses a combination of robot and manual processes to create their frames, fenders and gas tanks. It was very impressive to see the gas tank parts being stamped out of rolls of steel at the one are of the factory and then see them come out of the paint area all shiny and ready to be put on a motorcycle.
Cameras are not permitted in the factory; however they do have some displays in their visitors center that show some of the process.
We also visited the workshop of luthier (someone who makes or repairs stringed instruments) Mark Bluett – Bluett Bros. Violins (http://www.bluettbros-violins.com/). Mark made his first violin in 1982 and since then has gained recognition for the quality of sound and aesthetic beauty of his creations. All of his creations are made of aged spruce, curly mapge and mahogany that is air dried for up to 20 years. Mark took the time to show and describe how he makes the instruments. It was clear that a lot of work, love, and pride goes into each instrument he creates.
There is more to come – we still have chocolate and metal dinnerware on the list.