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2070: A Manufacturing Odyssey

February 13, 2020 / Laura Putre

Much like today, 1970, when IndustryWeek was launched, was a seminal time for manufacturing. The first moon landing had occurred just a year before, bringing not only new technology that could be commercialized in the factory but also a psyche boost for America as innovator. Like today, it was a time of political unrest and social change the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights movement, the Pentagon Papers, and the economic uncertainty that can bring. The post-World War II boom that had fired up many idling factories and brought nascent industries to full-speed-ahead convenience foods, electrical appliances, recreational vehicles, to name a few had been humming along nicely for two decades and was just beginning to take serious hits from overseas competitors. Unions were strong but overseas competition was ramping up and mass layoffs coming that would gut the Midwest and change Americans faith that a high school diploma guarante...