from the artist's website:
"I think this painting truly represents our heritage. At one time, small family-operated workshops like this filled the countryside and helped our nation grow. It's important that our generation and those which follow remember those who came before us and forged a path to follow."
The subject of American Made is the blacksmith shop of the former William A. Heiss Coach Works in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania. From the late 1800's through the beginning of the 1900's Heiss produced quality horse drawn vehicles and maintained a prosperous and stable business. However, during the 1920's demand for the automobile greatly increased and work in the buggy industry grew scarce. Heiss was forced to shut down his once successful operation and seek another line of work.
The doors of his shop were closed, leaving the coach works subject to chance and the passage of time.
More than 50 years later, a small group of citizens met informally to discuss a memorial for Mifflinburg, nicknamed "Buggy Town", because of the extensive contributions to that era of transportation. Remodeled and converted buildings of several old coach manufacturers were known to exist in the area, but it was the long abandoned William A. Heiss buildings and grounds which were visited that day.
The doors were opened and the original shop was revealed virtually intact. The original belting and pulleys, tools, machinery and forges were all still there. It was as if the Heiss employees had just walked away.