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Penley Wood Toothpicks, Maine in USA

May 7th, 2011 · 25 Comments

By Garland Pollard

toothpicks AmericanWEST PARIS, MAINE – There is something very American about toothpicks, and a great, American-made brand is Penley. Rather a shame that many brands sold today are made in China. After all, how difficult is it to make a toothpick, and can’t the production be automated enough? I find it shameful that Jarden, which owns Diamond brand toothpicks, makes theirs in China. I will not be buying Diamond toothpicks again.

The Penley company was founded in 1923 when Fred, Lester and Walter Penley began making clothespins from the nearby hardwoods, including those classic round ones. The company grew, but by the 1950s, its market in clothespins was hurt by the sale of dryers. It expanded into specialty products, cutlery and matches. West Paris is a town North of Portland where many wooden items (including sleds) were made along the Little Androscoggin River.

But in 2003, it had to shut down its mill operation, and now operates as a seller of a wide variety of kitchen extras, including straws and now plastic clip clothespins. There  are apparently no American clothespins left.

But the toothpicks, at least the ones seen in the stores this year, are still made in U.S.A.

Tags: Made in USA

25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 D Stevens // Jun 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I just bought (6/1/11) Penley toothpicks at Walgreens. The box is clearly marked, “Made in China.” I only bought them because I cannot find any local stores which sell toothpicks made in the USA – or anywhere other than China. I also tried e-mailing the address on the box ( and received an instant reply, “Your message has reached a mailbox that is no longer in service.” I suspect the entire front office has died from toxic toothpicks used for the hors d’oeuvres at the first quarter sales figures celebration – profits up after outsourcing manufacturing overseas.

  • 2 mike hogan // Jun 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

    im another american who has dropped penley after 50 yrs.go sell em to the iraqi’s

  • 3 Barbara // Jun 23, 2011 at 11:25 am


  • 4 BarbaraC // Sep 5, 2011 at 8:18 am

    you make toothpicks with square tip that can’t find between teeth. Whole box of 750 useless.
    Very poor design. Would not buy that brand again.

  • 5 Susan Hamilton // Sep 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Are Penley toothpicks made in the U.S.A.? If they are why does it say made in China on the box. I want made in the U.S.A. toothpicks not Chinese toothpicks that may have dangerous chemicals in them. Come on, put fellow Americans to work!

  • 6 Susan Hamilton // Sep 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Did you get my last comment about the toothpicks being made in the U.S.A. and not China? Let me know. I want U.S.A. made toothpicks not Chinese made toothpicks. I want my fellow Americans to be working and making your products.

  • 7 Barbara S. // Nov 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I want good flat toothpicks. I have use them for 60 yrs.
    I hurt my mouth on them. Tell China to smooth them out. Angry Barb.

  • 8 c moscatel // Dec 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I can’t find Penley round flat toothpicks anywhere.
    Where did they go?

  • 9 Helen T. // Dec 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I am also looking for toothpicks made in USA

  • 10 Cindy F. // Jan 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Looking for Square Round Toothpicks. Just used my last Penley pick.

  • 11 Dorothy Papazian // Jan 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Do you think we’re all idiots?
    Your toothpicks are made in China and they’re disgusting. They all went into the trash.
    I’d rather pay a little more and get quality than to waste money on garbage I throw out.
    What is wrong with you people?

  • 12 Starr Lara // Nov 22, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Not true, these toothpicks are made in China. They say it right on the package, and they shred and fall apart and break when trying to poke soft cream cheese. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

    I will never ever buy them again. I was making ham, cream cheese, and pickle rollups for Thanksgiving, and they broke and slivered as I tried to poke the rollups. That is when I looked on the package to see where they were made, and guess what, they were made in China, NOT the USA as some have written here.

  • 13 Alex // Jan 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    As of 1-9-13, I found Diamond brand party colored toothpicks for sale in a Publix supermarket. These were made in the USA. All of the others, including the other Diamond toothpicks, were made in China.

    Publix is exclusive to the southeast, but I would assume other stores would carry this Diamond brand product elsewhere.

  • 14 Art // May 31, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    These are the worst toothpicks that I have ever used. They splinter in my mouth and taste bad. Sorry!!!!SORRY!!!!!!!!

  • 15 Garland Pollard // Jun 2, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    thanks for telling our readers! really important info.

  • 16 Toothpicks | Live Toxic Free // Apr 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    […] Penley Wood Toothpicks are made in Maine USA. […]

  • 17 deb // Jun 14, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    I’ve. BOUGHT the. Plastic. Clothes. Pin the best ever .the store that I purchased them at .has closed.where can. I. Find them? Please let me know I don’t have a dryer so I hang all my laundry with your fantastic clothes pin. I need to keep on hanging!

  • 18 E A BIDDLE // May 5, 2015 at 6:15 am

    I purchased a 1,000 count round toothpicks but am having a hard time finding them. Can you enlighten me to find them please? The scew number on my box is: 4114600566. and they are made in China. I bought them to test the cakes in my busines “A Piece of Cake”

  • 19 ModernMode // May 7, 2015 at 8:12 am

    As of May 2015, Diamond makes Flat Toothpicks and Colored Party Picks in USA. Got an email from the company this morning.

  • 20 Allen Shearin // Jun 28, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Do you still make flat toothpicks? I do not like round ones and that is all I can find in any store. How may I obtain some flat ones? Can you ship me some C.O.D.?
    Allen W. Shearin
    703 Woodland Trail
    Louisburg, N. C. 27549

  • 21 Jawad // Feb 8, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Cocktail wood tooth pick details send me

  • 22 Linnea // Jun 5, 2017 at 9:41 am

    In retrospect, it seems that some of the commenters believe that this blog has a direct link to toothpick manufacturers! I would guess that some who commented here were late adopters of computers, commented here, and left never to return to this blog, forever angry and disappointed that nobody from the toothpick company (which has no logical reason to know that a customer has complained here) responded.

  • 23 Dan Lochner // Sep 7, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Where can I find your flat tooth picks ? box of 750. In Las Vegas, NV or in Salt Lake City, Odgen,UT. There great and no one carries them. I can’t fine them anyway. Thanks Please Help

  • 24 Betty P. Hart - Jaxon's Inc // Sep 8, 2017 at 7:33 am

    I own a business and we and our customers ARE STILL GRIEVING THE CLOSURE OF PENLEY CLOTHESPIN BUSINESS. We bought the last seven cases our source had and are still grieving for them. There has NEVER IN MY LIFETIME been any comparison to the quality of the PENLEY product. The great HARDWOOD and the STRONG galvanized (rust retarded) SPRINGS, Please consider making these WONDERFUL, GREAT, PHENOMENAL CLOTHSPINS. I have found NO COMPARABLE PRODUCT TO PENLEY CLOTHESPINS TO DATE. 😢😥😭
    Betty P. Hart; Jaxon’s, Inc; 18509 Dunne Ave.; P.O. Box 197, Parksley, VA 23421

  • 25 andres // Jan 24, 2018 at 10:43 am

    lo único que usa le falta hacer en china son los dolares

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