You’re probably familiar with the phrase, “Trenton Makes, The World Takes.” It turns out that’s not only true of Trenton – New Jersey is a manufacturing hub. You may even be surprised by some of the products produced here.
The slogan, "Trenton Makes, The World Takes," came about in 1910 after a contest sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Very true at the time, manufacturing operations are now scattered throughout the state.
See some of the unique products made in New Jersey below.
1. Bosco Syrups
This brand makes mouthwatering flavored toppings and is based out of Towaco. Bosco Syrup was first produced in 1928 by the William S. Scull Company and is believed to have been invented by a Camden doctor. The iconic fudge was used as the fake blood for Psycho's infamous shower scene.
2. Manhattan Doors
These luxury doors may have Manhattan in the brand name, but they're actually made in Carlstadt. A third generation family business, their motto is "We do it right. The first time. On time. Every time."
3. Henry Firearms
The brand was first established in the 1860s and was vital to Union troops during the Civil War. Also popular in the Wild West, they are now made in Bayonne.
4. Switlik Parachutes and Life Rafts
Founded in 1920, this Trenton-based company originally began by manufacturing parachutes but have since branched out to include a variety of life saving resources. This plaque commemorates the Trenton area's role in WWII, stating "Among Trenton's many other wartime corporate suppliers were the Delaval Stem Turbine Company, producing engine parts such as compressors, gears and propellers for the Navy, and the Switlik Parachute Company, whose devices are estimated to have saved more than 5,000 pilots during the war and played an important decoy role during the D-Day operations of June 1944."
You know those little holograms on licenses and ID cards that help officials verify their authenticity? Many of them are made by the Paterson-based company, Crown Roll Leaf.
Now in the age of computers, pencils are not as popular as they used to be. Still, many of them are made by the General Pencil Company. In 1860, Edward Weissenborn opened the first pencil factory in the USA. In 1889, Edward and his son, Oscar A., founded the General Pencil Company in Jersey City where it still produces pencils today.
7. Marcal Paper Products
Based in Elmwood Park, Marcal is one of the oldest environmentally friendly paper companies in the US. Made from 100% recycled paper, they are hypoallergenic and are free of dyes and fragrances. All products are manufactured without chlorine bleaching. I can't help but be proud these products are produced in New Jersey.
8. Light bulbs
Perhaps New Jersey's most famous export, Thomas Edison perfected the incandescent light bulb in Menlo Park in the 1870s. Shortly after, Birnbaum Electric became Edison's exclusive distributor. The company moved to New Jersey in the 1980s and still produces their "newcandescent" bulbs (which comply with new federal lighting standards) in South Hackensack.
9. Born To Hula Hot Sauce
This Highlands-based brand is big on New Jersey pride. They make their scrumptious sauces with locally sourced peppers and also offer more mild toppings.
10. Campbell's Products
The iconic Campbell's brand was founded and is still headquartered in Camden. They produce products in New Jersey and throughout the United States. You may recognize the brand from your pantry, or Andy Warhol's famous painting.
11. First Field Ketchup
New Jersey is well-known for its delicious tomatoes, so it's no surprise that a big name brand in organic ketchup comes out of the Garden State. First Field got its start in 2012, uses only non-GMO ingredients and has a small farm in Kingston.
12. Fralinger's Salt Water Taffy
We all know this brand was invented and is produced at the Jersey Shore, but it had to be mentioned - we're mighty proud. Fralinger's is owned by James Candy Company, a fellow taffy and treat maker.
This list is only just the start; what’s your favorite New Jersey brand? There are plenty of smaller companies to love like Cape May Peanut Butter Co., Flying Fish Brewery and Booskerdoo Coffee. For more small businesses to support in the Garden State, check out
this list of unique local businesses.