Hillerich & Bradsby Co., better known as Louisville Slugger, got its start back in 1884. It began when a furniture maker’s son, Bud Hillerich, used the furniture shop to make a custom bat for professional baseball player, Pete Browning. Two decades later Louisville Slugger signed the first athlete to endorse a bat, Honus Wagner and the rest is history. Today Louisville Sluggers are used in every line up in the major leagues. They use Northern White Ash grown in their Pennsylvania and New York forests. Each year 40,000 Northern White Ash trees provide the timber for the 6,000-10,000 bats produced at the factory every day. That equals 8 million bats a year. The factory mixes tradition with technology, where old school craft meets modern CNC machine. The CNC machine used to make the major league bats is the only one of its kind in the world. From there the MLB…Continue Reading
Today’s interview is with Heather Powers, a designer who worked for the historic textile company, Churchill Weavers. For over 85 years Churchill Weavers manufactured premium handwoven textiles in Berea, KY. A few years ago Churchill Weavers closed its doors. All images posted above are from the Kentucky Historical Society collection.   Can you give us some background info on yourself and your experiences in the textile industry? I started out in textiles with a BFA from Savanna College of Art and Design in 1998. Churchill was the first job that I got in the industry working after college.  I was really lucky to be able to go there straight out of college and I spent about a year there. I chose to work for them because I knew that they had their manufacturing on site and that really interested me. I had a woven focus in my textile degree and…Continue Reading