Assembly Blog

A Token Argument for Manufacturing

February 4, 2013

At the Ames True Temper assembly plant in Harrisburg, PA, workers produce a new wheelbarrow every six seconds. The True Temper facility has been the self-proclaimed “wheelbarrow capital of the world” since 1876, when the original company, Jackson Manufacturing, began mass-producing the implements.

Workers here were dismayed to learn that the maker of Monopoly is planning to retire one of the iconic board game’s familiar tokens, and Las Vegas oddsmakers are predicting the silvery little wheelbarrow will lose the popularity contest.

Wheelbarrow assemblers are not going down without a fight, however. They’ve launched a “Save the Wheelbarrow” campaign.

Good for them. In a way, the game celebrates the success of men like John D. Rockefeller, Alfred du Pont and Andrew Carnegie, who built massive fortunes through manufacturing and industry. So I say, let’s keep the tokens that represent hard work and U.S. industrial might.

Tuesday is the last chance to cast your vote on which token should be retired and which new token should take its place.

As of Feb. 1, the Scottie dog and the car are in the clear, with 29 percent (Scottie) and 14 percent (car) of online voters saying save them. No surprise, there. Who doesn’t love Scotties or cars?

The iron and the wheelbarrow are in trouble with the lowest number of votes. The battleship, top hat, thimble and shoe appear safe. Cast your vote at

I’m a bit disappointed in the proposed new tokens: a cat, diamond ring, guitar, toy robot and helicopter. As far as I’m concerned, you can lose the cat from the get-go. I like the idea of a robot, but rather than a tin toy, it should be a six-axis articulated robot. I also like the idea of a jackhammer, bulldozer, I-beam, anvil or impact wrench.

What do you think? Which tokens would you keep? What new tokens would you propose? Share your thoughts.

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Update: The cat won

John Sprovieri
February 7, 2013
Editor's note: Despite my opinion, the cat won. The iron is out. The wheelbarrow is safe.

the perfect token...

February 7, 2013
The perfect modern token would be a credit card!



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