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Unforgettable Oscar

While attending an Oscar party this year, one of our staff members brought up the fact that the coveted golden statuette, awarded to the world’s best film personnel, is made through the metalcasting process. Crickets.

The editor mentioned that the award is cast at a facility not 30 minutes from the Chicago home where they were watching the awards show. A bit of response, but still not enough to drown out the sound of bugs rubbing their legs together.

The experience was eerily similar to the annual deluge of articles that appear in the popular press about the manufacturing process used to make the Oscar. (For the record, it’s hand-cast, a variation on traditional permanent mold work, at R.S. Owens, Chicago.)

Each year around Academy Awards time, a few news outlets run a story detailing how the Oscar starts as molten metal, is poured into a mold, and solidifies to form the shape you see on television. It’s as if they’ve just discovered metalcasting.

This is one of the oldest manufacturing processes in the world. It produces parts for indispensable industries—automotive, aerospace, oil and mining, the list goes on. And yet, the most attention it gets in the popular press is when it makes an appearance in Hollywood. As with so many subjects, the media would do well to get the stars out of its eyes when covering manufacturing in America.