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Iconic Wisconsin souvenirs not made in America

Iconic Wisconsin souvenirs not made in America

By WTMJ News Team. CREATED Jul 3, 2012 - UPDATED: Jul 3, 2012

Click on the video link to see TODAY'S TMJ4's Steve Chamraz's investigative piece.

MILWAUKEE- Parades, fireworks, and hot dogs -- you can't get more American than that.

But as we celebrate the 4th of July, TODAY'S TMJ4's Steve Chamraz found a lot of Wisconsin stuff comes from far away.

TODAY'S TMJ4 took a road trip around our great state and collected some cool Wisconsin souvenirs along the way, but found out the trinkets may say Wisconsin but they don't say made in the USA.

It seemed like a simple mission.

Hit the road on a perfect summer day -- and visit some iconic Wisconsin tourist destinations.  And while we're out there -- find some iconic Wisconsin souvenirs.
 
TODAY'S TMJ4 wanted to bring back cheesy little trinkets of our trip actually "made in America."

TODAY'S TMJ4 took a hidden camera -- and our wallet -- into shops all over the state.

From the Wisconsin Dells to the state museum and Veterans Museum in Madison; a little closer to home, we looked at the Milwaukee County Zoo and the gift shops at General Mitchell Airport, TODAY'S TMJ4 looked to see what could buy that was actually made in America.

Marquette professor Doug Fisher didn't expect TODAY'S TMJ4 to find anything made in America.
"Well there was a day probably in the 60s or 70s when I was a little boy, when you could find everything from fireworks to trinkets made in the USA," recalled Fisher.

Fisher says companies are bringing some manufacturing back from overseas, but that's mostly pricier items like car parts or our famous local example, Masterlock.

For a cheap miniature snow globe of the state Capitol -- American labor is still too expensive.

"The ability of them to produce in volume, and ship it here in volume and still have a low cost in the marketplace, probably still exceeds that which we're able to do here in the United States," said Fisher.

In the Wisconsin Dells and at the museums in Madison -- you can buy some handmade crafts made in the USA.

But those items run $20 or higher.