Manufacturing booming in old and new ways during high-tech era

May 15, 2016

It wasn’t that long ago that San Francisco was a big-time manufacturing town — shipyards, ironworks, canneries, box factories, big bakeries, everything. The Mechanics Monument on Market Street — iron men working with steel — celebrates that spirit.

But even in these high-tech days in San Francisco, the city still is a big manufacturing center. But to understand it you have to think small.

Except for operations like the BAE San Francisco Shipyard on the southern waterfront, the big companies have left San Francisco. What’s left of the traditional outfits are small, old-line machine shops and the like.

But local manufacturing hasn’t disappeared and is booming in old and new ways.

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