Go Behind the Scenes of Your Favorite Brand Products

See how some of your favorite products are born.

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Photo By: Steve Roberts / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

Photo By: Harley-Davidson Motor Company, www.harley-davidson.com

Photo By: The Crayola Experience, crayolaexperience.com

Photo By: Airstream, www.airstream.com

Photo By: Boeing, boeing.com

Photo By: Steinway & Sons / Photographer: Chris Payne

Photo By: Fiesta Dinnerware, www.fiestafactorydirect.com

Photo By: Kohler Co., www.us.kohler.com/

Photo By: Blenko Glass, www.blenko.com

Photo By: The Vermont Teddy Bear Company, www.vermontteddybear.com

Gibson Guitars

Memphis, Tenn., has always been a popular tourist destination because of its rich musical history which includes Graceland, Beale Street and Sun Records where Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and other music legends recorded. An equally important attraction is the Gibson Guitar Factory which has been a popular brand for more than 120 years. Here, you can view guitar technicians bind, neck-fit, paint, buff and tune newly-crafted guitars that have been the instrument of choice for Les Paul, Jerry Garcia, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and many others. The tour lasts up to an hour and costs $10 per person. For tour details, visit their website.


What better way to experience the freedom of the open road than on a motorcycle? Harley-Davidson has been a pioneer in the field since 1903 when William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson created their first racer. The brand became an iconic part of 20th-century American culture, and motorcycle enthusiasts can see new legends in the making at three different factory tours. The company's Softail models and Custom Vehicle Operations program is the focal point of the York, Penn., tour. At the Menomonee Falls, Wis., facility, the main attraction is the production of the Big Twin, Milwaukee-Eight and Sportster powertrains. The Kansas City, Mo., tour offers an insider look at the production of the Sportster, the Dyna and other motorcycle models. For pricing information or to book a tour, visit their website.

Crayola Crayons

Think back to your first creative experience with drawing and coloring. It probably involved using Crayola crayons. Dedicated to inspiring creativity in the classroom for more than 100 years, Crayola was the vision of Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith who took over a pigment operation by Edwin's father in 1885 and began producing crayons in 1903. At the Orlando location in the Florida Mall, children can let their imaginations run wild amid the 26 attractions on display, such as Melt & Mound, Drip Art and Doodle in the Dark. The Crayola Experience offers an annual pass for $29.99 that includes access to all four of their locations across the country. For more information, visit their website.


For more than 80 years Airstream has been creating top-of-the-line travel trailers for people who want to tour America in style. Wally Byam built the world's first Airstream in 1929, and some of the earliest models are still in operation today. Every Airstream Travel Trailer is hand-crafted, and you can witness the assembly process at their Jackson Center, Ohio location. Tours are offered Monday through Friday and last approximately two hours with a one-mile walk. For more tour details, visit their website.


If you have an aspiring pilot or astronaut in your family, Boeing is a must-visit destination for fans of air flight and space-age technology. From its early beginnings in 1916, the company has evolved from developing the single-engine, two-seat seaplane to mass producing passenger planes, helicopters, satellites, military aircraft and space and communications products. Currently, visitors can witness aircraft being constructed and other fascinating sights at the company's Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour at either the Mukilteo or Everett, Wash., locations. For tour details and tickets, visit their website.

Steinway Pianos

If you're a musician, you know that Steinway & Sons are internationally famous for their high-quality pianos as well as their innovations in piano production over the years. The family began building pianos in Germany in 1836, but their reputation began to grow after they emigrated to America and founded Steinway & Sons in Manhattan in 1853. The company continues to operate a factory in Astoria, N.Y., where visitors can take an immersive three-hour tour and see firsthand how their famous pianos are made. You'll learn about everything, from the type of raw wood used to the final testing of the piano's tone and sound. Tours are free, but you need to book well in advance either through email (tours@steinway.com) or by phone (718-721-2600).

Fiesta Dinnerware

People collect all sorts of things, but when it comes to dinnerware one of the most sought-after collectibles is the famous Fiesta line. Their bright, circular bowls were first introduced in 1936, becoming famous for their modern, Art Deco design and vibrant glazes. The Homer Laughlin Company discontinued the Fiesta line in 1973 due to declining sales, but its value as a collectible skyrocketed in price in secondary markets, convincing the company to reintroduce the line in 1986. At the Newell, W.Va., location you can take an insider's tour which includes a visit to the Homer Laughlin China Company museum and displays from the past 144 years of the manufacturer's history. For tour details, visit their website.


Known for their inventive kitchen, bath and tile products, Kohler has been an innovator in design and technology since the company was first founded in 1873. At the Kohler, Wis., facility, you can take their three-hour "Industry in Action" tour, and witness the production of vitreous china lavatories, cast-iron tubs and other products. Admission is free and tours are offered Monday through Friday. For tour details, visit their website.

Blenko Glass

The making of hand-blown glass is a true art form, and Blenko Glass Company has been a leader in this endeavor since 1893. Located in Milton, W.Va., the company produces a wide variety of handcrafted architectural and specialty glass products, such as stained glass, Dalle De Vere (thick slab glass) and etched glass. The creation of hand-blown glass is quite a fascinating process, and the public is invited to attend one of Blenko's many glassblowing demonstrations at the factory. Check their production schedule for available appointments at Blenko, or call 877-425-3656 for more information.

Handmade Teddy Bears

Looking for a family-friendly tour that's particularly ideal for small children? Consider this Burlington, Vt., company that started as a family business in 1981 and is now famous for its beautifully-crafted, artisan teddy bears that come in a variety of sizes and personalities. Visitors get to tour the facilities and see the teddy bears being created by hand. The factory is open seven days a week, and admission is less than $5. For more tour details, visit their website.

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