20 Iconic American T-Shirts

These shirts are homegrown at Horses Cut Shop, subject of the Made From America series on Great American Country.

Photo By: Matt Blair

Story Telling

Made From America's Gabe Johnson travels across America in search of unique and historic small-town businesses and local enterprises, telling their stories through custom T-shirts imprinted with the company's logo. Each business then gets a portion of the proceeds whenever its signature shirt sells.

Here are some of our favorites with Great American stories.

Fuel Cafe — Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Located in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood since its opening in 1993, Fuel Cafe is a cozy spot with dirt-bike-inspired decor and some of the best caffeine in the city. Breakfast and lunch are available, with unique sandwiches like the Wasabi Veggie Melt, The Tacon and The Buttafucco, as well as plenty of Vegan options.

Watch the country's best drag racers compete on the new Great American Country series The Best of PINKS All Out.

Lee's Liquor Lounge — Minneapolis, Minnesota

This downtown watering hole was opened by Lee in 1957, but Louis "Lou" Sirian has been in charge of it since 1977. Immaculately aged and spacious, Lee's has live music nearly every night, featuring groups like The Reverb Country Dusters, The NodAways, Rocket Soul and Church of Cash (Johnny Cash). There are even free dance lessons on Wednesday nights.

Speakeasy Motors — Paramus, New Jersey

Some speed shops stick to one kind of machine, but owner Evan Favaro and his crew at Speakeasy Motors will re-imagine anything that moves and give it a second life of style and speed, from a 1938 chopped/channeled/suicide Buick to a 1968 Ford Fairlane and a pontoon boat built from 55-gallon drums.

Harborena — Hoquiam, Washington

Built in 1953 by father and son, this historic rink is still family-owned and a tribute to roller skating's heyday. The gigantic structure features a vaulted ceiling, carpeted Skate Room and well-preserved 1950s' concessions stand. A portion of the sale of this T-shirt goes back to Harborena.

Sunset Sound — Hollywood, California

More than 200 Gold Records have been recorded and mastered in this humble studio on the west side of Sunset Boulevard. Family-owned and operated, Sunset Sound still offers the same hands-on approach to recording that they did 53 years ago, with customized consoles, discrete component equipment and vintage microphones.

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Cantler's Riverside Inn — Annapolis, Maryland

For more than 40 years and just minutes from downtown Annapolis, Cantler's has been serving Chesapeake Bay natives and visitors fresh seafood. Maryland blue crabs are available year-round, seven days a week, and served by the platter on brown-paper-covered, communal tables overlooking Mill Creek. Arrive by boat or enjoy the winding, wooded drive.

Ivar's Acres of Clams — Seattle, Washington

Seattle folk singer Ivar Haglund, son of Swedish and Norwegian immigrants, founded this legendary seafood house at Pier 54 on the city's historic waterfront in 1938. Although the original is temporarily closed until July 2015 for seawall construction, Ivar's offers the Salmon House on Seattle's Lake Union and Ivar's at Mukilteo Landing, a scenic community about 25 miles north of Seattle on Puget Sound.

Hole in The Wall — Austin, Texas

This venue just off the University of Texas campus has been a mainstay of the city's music scene since 1974. Hole in The Wall's legendary storefront has changed over its 40 years, but still remains true to its musical roots, featuring live music seven days a week, pool and an outdoor beer garden.

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Electric Park — Aberdeen, Washington

Home field of the Aberdeen Black Cats baseball team from 1903 to 1918, Electric Park doubled as a trolley lot owned by the local electric company. The team's logo, "Hoo-Hoo" the arched cat, was adopted from a good luck charm posted at logging camps throughout the Pacific Northwest. The symbol was also used by a radical labor movement, where it represented the "Ag Cat," symbolizing "agitation."

Twin Anchors — Chicago, Illinois

The location of a speakeasy during Prohibition, this restaurant and tavern in Chicago's historic Old Town neighborhood has been serving tender, barbequed baby-back ribs since its founding in 1932. Frank Sinatra was a regular patron at Twin Anchors (and generous tipper) whenever he was in town, and the tavern has been featured in Cooking Channel's The Originals With Emeril series, as well as several movies and documentaries.

Angry Mom Records — Ithaca, New York

Housed in the basement of The Autumn Leaves Bookstore in Ithaca, hometown of Cornell University and Ithaca College, Angry Mom has over 20,000 records. If you're looking to fill gaps in your vinyl collection, there's literally something for everyone here, from Jazz and soul to Punk, Metal and more. Plus, check out the vinyl listening stations. (Note: T-shirt available in child sizes only.)

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Hollywood Hot Rods — Burbank, California

Having won nearly every available award for custom-built hot rods at Hollywood Hot Rods, shop owner Troy Ladd spent years perfecting his craft and staying true to his vision of creating rolling artwork. He and his team remain dedicated to the art with their classic and custom builds, modifications and restorations.

Watch the country's best drag racers compete for cold, hard cash on the new Great American Country series The Best of PINKS All Out.

Harbor Inn — Cleveland, Ohio

The Harbor Inn on the West Bank of the Cleveland Flats dates back to 1895, making it one of the oldest bars in America. Inside is a 50-foot bar, designed to resemble a ship's hull and bow, providing over 100 bottled beers and a comfort-food menu to a steady stream of regulars over the years. At the helm since the 1970s, owner Wally Pisorn has recently put the historic property up for sale.

Bardahl — Ballard, Washington

Arriving in Seattle from Norway in 1922, Ole Bardahl had $32 in his pocket and eventually built a lubricant and oil additive dynasty that now sells more than 400 different products in 80+ countries. The family-owned Bardahl's is well-known in hydroplane-racing circles, and is headquartered in the historic Ballard neighborhood below a gigantic neon "Add Bardahl Oil" sign.

Watch the country's best drag racers compete for cold, hard cash on the new Great American Country series The Best of PINKS All Out.

Downtown Boxing Gym — Detroit, Michigan

This East Side gym is home to over 65 students who learn about boxing and lifefrom founder/trainer Carlo Sweeney and his team. Since 2007 and free-of-charge, Downtown Boxing Gym has offered academic support and physical training to kids between the ages of 7 and 18, resulting in a 100% high school graduation rate among its students.

Wolski's Tavern — Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Bernie Wolski opened his tavern atop Beer Town USA in 1908. Today, Wolski's great-grandsons operate the bar, which features a newly updated patio, free popcorn, steel-tipped darts and pool. They also hand out bumper stickers to customers who manage to hold out until closing time, a tradition begun in the 1970s.

Grays Harbor — Aberdeen, Washington

Grays Harbor Community College was established in 1933 with Charlie Choker, pictured, as its mascot. Charlie represents a "choke setter," a logger who attaches cables to logs for retrieval by skidders or skylines. Profits from the sale of this T-shirt go to the college's Timber Technology program, whose students learn the skills required to work in today's timber industry.

Gluek's Restaurant & Bar — Minneapolis, Minnesota

The origin of Gluek's can be traced back to 1855, when brewer Gottlieb Gluek arrived in Minneapolis from his native Germany, establishing Gluek's Brewery in 1857. The bar itself started shortly after the end of Prohibition, but a fire in 1989 gutted the historic building. The owners eventually restored it to its Bavarian beer-hall glory.

Digger's Speed Shop — Kalamazoo, Michigan

Formerly a ditch digger, hence his marquee, owner Dan Lummis opened his own shop to do what he loves most: repairing, rebuilding and customizing motorcycles. At Digger's Speed Shop, he and his partners turn out bikes that are meant to be ridden, not just looked at and pulled around in trailers.

Watch the country's best drag racers compete on the new Great American Country series The Best of PINKS All Out.

Amoeba Music — Berkeley, California

Originally founded in Berkeley by former employees of nearby Rasputin Records, Amoeba Music is now the largest independent record store in the world. The Sunset Strip location covers more than 24,000 square feet and regularly hosts some of the largest and newest musical acts.

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