> Most iconic product: Tobacco
Tobacco was the foundation of colonial Virginia’s economy in the early 17th century. Almost every commodity at that time was valued in pounds of tobacco and the cash crop was used to standardize local forms of currency. Since then, tobacco production has diminished considerably in the Old Dominion State. Still, Virginia is home to some of the nation’s primary tobacco fields, located predominantly in the south of the state.
> Most iconic product: Airplanes
Washington, the Evergreen State, was once home to the headquarters of Boeing, but the company has since moved its base of operations to Chicago. Still, employing around 80,000 people, Boeing is the largest private employer in Washington. It is perhaps no surprise that Washington’s largest exports are aircrafts and aircraft parts — state exports of aircraft-related goods were valued at $48.7 billion in 2014, accounting for over half of the state’s total exports.
48. West Virginia
> Most iconic product: Coal
West Virginia is in the Appalachian Mountain region, which is home to some of the nation’s most abundant coal deposits. The Mountain State extracts enormous quantities of the carbonized plant matter each year as it has since the mid-1800s. Coal-fired power plants produce the vast majority of West Virginia’s electricity, and 80% of coal produced in the state is exported to other parts of the country and the world.
> Most iconic product: Cheese
The early 19th century brought waves of immigrants from Europe, many of whom settled in Wisconsin where cheesemaking would eventually become a statewide tradition. According to the International Dairy Food Association, Swiss immigrants started manufacturing foreign cheese in Green County, Wisconsin in 1845.
> Most iconic product: Horses
Horses — bred in Wyoming for racing, showing, and recreation — are a nearly $300 million industry in the state.While the industry is larger in Kentucky, horses are central to the sparsely-populated state’s image and a horse is featured on the state quarter. There is approximately one horse for every five Wyoming residents, the highest ratio of any state.