8 Surprising Things Manufactured In Jax

September 2, 2015 8 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Jacksonville's manufacturing scene is a Florida anomaly. Here's a list a few products being produced locally that you may find surprising.

2. Emory Manufacturing Corporation

Courtesy of kingfish254 at http://s914.photobucket.com/user/kingfish254/media/Emory Mojave/WP_001032.jpg.html

Emory Manufacturing began with the name Aero-Fast and two brothers. Clayton and Willard Smith opened up their first bike shop in 1944. Primarily a retail store, the brothers decided they wanted in on wholesales, too. So, Clayton sold his house, and with that money, they bought a carload of Road Master bikes. They packed their bags and headed north from their Miami sore to relocate in Jacksonville only 4 years later, where they became the southeastern distributors for Arnold Schwinn. At the time, Arnold Schwinn was one of the most dominating manufactures of bikes in the US.

It wasn’t until 1976 that the name Emory came around; a result of Clayton and his son building bikes for government and industrial uses. These bikes were single speed, with wide, comfy seats and came to be known as the “beach cruiser” bikes; the first one of their kind. They sold nearly 5000 bikes a year until the bottom fell out of the industry. All the other major bike manufacturers had taken their business to China, and, as a result, the American bike market was gone.

Clayton Jr. is still working here in Jacksonville today, determined to bring the Emory bike back to life. You can find Emory Manufacturers at 1730 Westcott Street.

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