Made in Michigan http://michiganradio.org en That yellow traffic light? It was the invention of a Detroit police officer http://michiganradio.org/post/yellow-traffic-light-it-was-invention-detroit-police-officer <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>It's hard to imagine driving without the guidance of the tri-color traffic light, isn't it?</p><p>Turns out, that tri-color light that keeps us from crashing into each other at intersections was the brainchild of a Detroit police officer.</p><p>Matt Anderson is curator of transportation at The Henry Ford museum complex. Anderson says there had generally been two lights – one telling us to stop and the other telling us to go. But William Potts, a Detroit police officer, found a way to make the lights safer.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“It was </span>Potts’<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;inspiration to put in the third light, sort of amber caution, letting you know the signal change is imminent, so that you can prepare to slow down,” says Anderson.</span></p><p>Today, there are more than 3oo,000 intersections with traffic signals throughout the U.S.</p><p>And where was the first four-way traffic signal tower installed in the world?</p><p>It was at a corner of Woodward Avenue here in Detroit, says Anderson.</p><p><em>* Listen to the full interview with Matt Anderson above.</em></p><p> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 22:19:37 +0000 Stateside Staff 18701 at http://michiganradio.org That yellow traffic light? It was the invention of a Detroit police officer Found in kitchens nationwide, Jiffy Mix is made in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/found-kitchens-nationwide-jiffy-mix-made-michigan <p></p><p>When you think of Jiffy Mix, you may think biscuits and corn muffins. But did you know they are also Michigan made?</p><p>Howdy Holmes is the president and CEO of Jiffy Mix. His grandmother is the one who started it all.</p><p>When Howdy’s father and uncle, Howard and Dudley, were young, they had a friend who was being raised by a single parent. The young boys invited their friend over for lunch, and he arrived with a bag lunch made by his dad. Howard and Dudley’s mother was concerned about what the father had made for his son.</p><p>“She opened the bag and right on top was a biscuit, which she said looked more like a white hockey puck,” Howdy said.</p><p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 18:57:58 +0000 Stateside Staff 18074 at http://michiganradio.org Found in kitchens nationwide, Jiffy Mix is made in Michigan Gerber has roots in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/gerber-has-roots-michigan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">One of the longest lasting durable brands on the store shelves in America is Gerber.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Its&nbsp;Michigan's roots have been strong since the very beginning, in the town of Fremont.</p><p>The Gerber family came to Michigan in the mid-1870s, and by 1928 they began manufacturing baby food under the name Gerber Products Company.&nbsp;</p><p>Aileen Stocks, head of integrated marketing for Gerber, joined us today to explore the company's Michigan roots.</p><p><em>*Listen to the full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Tue, 13 May 2014 19:16:39 +0000 Stateside Staff 17582 at http://michiganradio.org Gerber has roots in Michigan Carhartt got its start in Michigan, and stayed in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/carhartt-got-its-start-michigan-and-stayed-michigan <p>Carhartt got its start in southern Michigan when the company's founder, Hamilton Carhartt, set out to make the best pair of overalls he could for railroad workers.</p><p>The company is still family owned and remains in Michigan.</p><p>We spoke with the company's current CEO, Mark Valade. He's Hamilton Carhartt's great-grandson.</p><p><em>Listen to our interview with him above.</em></p><p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:45:42 +0000 Stateside Staff 17172 at http://michiganradio.org Carhartt got its start in Michigan, and stayed in Michigan How a Michigan company unintentionally invented the cubicle http://michiganradio.org/post/how-michigan-company-unintentionally-invented-cubicle <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The American office used to be rows of desks in a huge room with zero privacy.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">All that changed when a Michigan-based company unintentionally invented the cubicle.</span></p><p>What led to the redesign of American offices?</p><p>We talk to Mark Schurman , of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hermanmiller.com/about-us/who-is-herman-miller.html">Herman Miller</a>, to talk about how Michigan shaped the way offices across America look today.</p><p><em>Listen to full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 18:34:30 +0000 Stateside Staff 16982 at http://michiganradio.org How a Michigan company unintentionally invented the cubicle The yarn for Ralph Lauren's Olympic closing ceremony sweaters was spun in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/yarn-ralph-laurens-olympic-closing-ceremony-sweaters-was-spun-michigan <p>At the 2012 Summer Olympics, the U.S. team got a lot of criticism for wearing Olympic clothing made in China to the opening&nbsp;ceremonies.&nbsp;</p><p>For the Winter Games, designer Ralph Lauren used American material. The yarn for the sweaters and hats that will be worn in the closing ceremonies at the Winter Olympics in Sochi was spun in East Jordan, Michigan.</p><p>Here's what the sweater and hats will look like:</p><p style="color: rgb(119, 119, 119); line-height: 16px; font-size: 12px; background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 00:22:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16330 at http://michiganradio.org The yarn for Ralph Lauren's Olympic closing ceremony sweaters was spun in Michigan Artwork on U.S. Olympic hockey team masks designed and painted in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/artwork-us-olympic-hockey-team-masks-designed-and-painted-michigan <p>As the world watches the U.S. Olympic hockey teams in Sochi, they’re getting a good look at some real, made-in-Michigan artistry.</p><p>The masks worn by goaltenders Ryan Miller, Jimmy&nbsp;Howard, and Bianne&nbsp;McLaughlin were all painted by artist Ray Bishop at his shop in Grand Blanc. &nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“I started painting masks mostly for young players,” said Bishop. “My first professional mask was for the Detroit Vipers.”</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">He worked his way up from there. This is not the first time Bishop's handiwork has been featured in the Olympics. He painted goalie masks in 2002, 2006, and 2010.</span></p><p>For this year's games, Miller’s mask features Uncle Sam holding the Sochi torch. Howard's has a stars-and-stripes pattern. Brianne’s mask sports the shield from the U.S. jerseys.&nbsp;</p><p>“It really just gives you goose bumps ... to think how many people actually can see a piece of artwork that you’ve done," Bishop said. "I can say I’m pretty fortunate to have the opportunity to do it.”</p><p>You can listen to our conversation with Bishop below.</p><p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 19:02:43 +0000 Stateside Staff 16530 at http://michiganradio.org Artwork on U.S. Olympic hockey team masks designed and painted in Michigan Ball Park Franks: A Michigan-made tradition http://michiganradio.org/post/ball-park-franks-michigan-made-tradition <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Some might argue there's nothing more American than baseball.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Well, did you know those Ball Park Franks that go with it are Michigan-made?</p><p>Back in 1958, the owners of Tiger Stadium were not happy with the hot dogs served at the games. So they asked&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Detroit-based company, </span>Hygrade<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Food Corp., to come up with a better version.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Gus Hauf, a Hygrade employee, had already developed his secret recipe for the hot dog that decade. His co-worker, Mary Ann Kirk, came up with the "Ball Park" name, cementing the relationship between baseball and hot dogs.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For her out-of-the-park idea, Mary Ann earned <a href="http://blog.detroitathletic.com/2012/06/25/detroits-ballpark-franks-are-deliciously-legendary/">$25 and a leather chair</a>.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"Michigan had kind of the best frankfurters in the country," said&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Joel Stone, the curator of the Detroit Historical Museum. "And the Ball Park was a perfect example of that."</span></p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 20:10:43 +0000 Stateside Staff 16415 at http://michiganradio.org Ball Park Franks: A Michigan-made tradition Snowboarding had its beginning in a Muskegon, Michigan garage http://michiganradio.org/post/snowboarding-had-its-beginning-muskegon-michigan-garage <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">The Sochi Winter Olympics are just days away.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">One of the most popular competitions is undoubtedly snowboarding, which joined the pantheon of Olympic winter sports in 1998.&nbsp;</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">But there might have been no Shaun White, the "Flying Tomato," grabbing Olympic gold for the U.S. without a man from Muskegon looking to give his little girls a reason to play outside in the snow.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">The snowboard is another "<a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/made-michigan">Made In Michigan</a>" story.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">"I took these two small skis and put them side by side and put a brace across them to hold them together, and something to put your foot against," said&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Sherm</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 19.5px;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Poppen.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 19.5px;">Poppen was the dad who got creative in his Muskegon garage some 48 years ago</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.5;">. "We literally started sliding down a hill standing up."</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">His wife named the new toy "snurfer" by combining the words "snow" and "surf."</span></p><p><font color="#222222" face="arial, sans-serif" size="2"><span style="line-height: 19.5px;">Fourteen years later, Jake Burton Carpenter came to a contest in Michigan and saw the snurfers. He then went back to Vermont to make his own "snurfboards."&nbsp;</span></font></p><p>"I wrote him saying the word 'snurf' and any derivative thereof belongs to Sherman Poppen and if you want to keep making these things you're going to have to pay him a royalty," Poppen said.</p><p>"That was probably one of the dumbest things I ever did, because he stopped making 'snurfboards' and started making 'snowboards.'"</p><p>Here's a longer interview with Poppen:</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umLNJf9uqAY</p><p><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">We want to hear from you. What surprising things do you know of that were invented or made in Michigan? We want to feature them as part of our "Made in Michigan" series.</em></p><p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 18:46:49 +0000 Stateside Staff 16299 at http://michiganradio.org Snowboarding had its beginning in a Muskegon, Michigan garage Did you know that 'Gumby' has Michigan roots? http://michiganradio.org/post/did-you-know-gumby-has-michigan-roots <p>You know this guy, right?</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The beloved </span>Gumby<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> was created by animator Art </span>Clokey<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. His son Joe&nbsp;</span>Clokey<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> joined us on Stateside today to describe how Michigan inspired his dad to come up with </span>Gumby<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>Listen to our interview with him here:</p><p></p> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 18:29:56 +0000 Stateside Staff 16094 at http://michiganradio.org Did you know that 'Gumby' has Michigan roots?