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President’s Service Blog: Making White Cane Pins, California

January 14, 2011

Ever since I read in LION Magazine how those little White Cane Pins are made, I couldn’t wait to see the process myself. On my last trip to California, I visited the Monterey Park Lions Club where members showed me how an amazing machine churns out more than one million pins each year.

The club makes the pins to promote White Cane Day. It was built from scratch in 1952 and has received small upgrades since. It uses hot water to soften a white plastic cord, which is then bent into the distinctive shapes before saw blades cut it into individual pins. The canes are strung up and dipped through red ink before being counted and packaged for sale. The club makes the pins available at cost to all clubs and a package of 1,000 canes is $43.

In this video, you’ll see a behind-the-scenes look at the process and my tour of the facility.

  1. Sid Scruggs permalink
    January 14, 2011 12:41 pm

    You know, I didn’t ask. But I find it so interesting that such an antiquated machine can accurately count the pins in 500-unit increments. Glad to hear you were as impressed by the machine as I was!

  2. January 14, 2011 10:07 am

    PCC Emil and I had the opportunity to tour the Monterey Park Lion’s little room and watch that amazing machine at work last year. I was astonished to see the counter at over 62 million and this counter was put in about 15 years after the machine was made in the early 50s. I wonder what number it was at the time of this visit?

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