Woodbury, (Google Maps location)
June 2, 2018
I read pretty much anything and everything having to do with anything in Connecticut. That is pretty much my answer to the oft-asked question, “Steve, how do you create your thorough lists?”
I don’t remember where I read that Woodbury Pewter calls a small corner of their factory store a museum, but I do remember getting all excited about it. it was mere coincidence that I was going to be in Woodbury the following weekend.
Is this a museum? No. But again, they call it a museum, and it has many museum qualities, so… it’s a CTMQ museum. And now you’re reading about it, whether you like it or not. Now you get to learn things like how pewter is a gray alloy of tin with copper and antimony (formerly, tin and lead).
Yes, pewter used to contain lead. And people used to drink out of pewter vessels. Around the same time a huge hat industry sprung up just west of Woodbury in Danbury where the hatmakers essentially bathed in mercury all day. And that was all before the Radium Girls in Waterbury had their faces painfully melted off while making watches with radioactive material.
Woodbury Pewter is clear: Our Pewter is 92% Tin, 6% Antimony & 2% Copper (No Lead).
The boys and Hoang were happily eating donuts from the wonderful Dottie’s Donuts just across route 6. They were not interested in pewter kitchenware and knick-knacks. I entered and like a moth to flame, made a beeline (mothline?) to the “museum.”
Our Store features a museum section on the making of pewter, a viewing room to the factory operations and a constant 7 minute video presentation, which is most informative and interesting.
Indeed. Some other guy was hogging the little TV with the “informative and interesting” video on loop. So I poked around and checked out everything else. I’m sure he saw me taking a bunch of pictures and was quite confused by that, but he did his best to pretend he didn’t notice. Props to that guy.
Woodbury Pewterers was founded in 1952, in the town of Woodbury, CT. by Ruth Holbrook and Lee R. Titcomb. The original location was a small blacksmith shop located next to the historic Hurd House in the center of town. In 1967, the business was re-located to its current location. Each piece of Woodbury Pewter is hand-crafted from the highest quality pewter using many of the same methods and tools that were used in the 18th & 19th centuries .Many of these tools, drawings, and various advertising pieces are on permanent display at our visitors gallery located at the Factory Outlet Store, which features a special section to view Woodbury Pewter pieces actually being made. Woodbury Pewter still remains a “family owned and operated” business with several second and third generation employees.
All Woodbury Pewter is hand-crafted in Woodbury, Connecticut. Master craftspeople using a wide variety of methods, carefully produce each piece of pewter with the skills and pride that is clearly apparent in every piece.
So is this place family owned and operated… or is it ”family owned and operated?” The constant misuse of quotation marks is now a full-fledged epidemic.
At least in 1971, Campbell’s Soup wrote them a letter. After buttering up the pewterer, they asked them for a pain in the butt favor. For some reason, this letter is mini-museum worthy. (They wanted two extra commemorative pewter candlesticks.)
I enjoyed the window that looks into the production facility. However, it being a weekend, no one was producing anything. And that guy was still watching the video over there anyway. So I looked at the old pewter stuff.
There is a bunch of old pewter stuff here. There is a little bit about the history of pewter and how pewter stuff is made, but not all that much. I quickly got my fill of pewter.
I left the little museum area and poked around the shop.
Located in the Historic Town of Woodbury, Connecticut, The WOODBURY PEWTER FACTORY STORE has been in existence since 1952 and is the only place that we offer “Factory Seconds” for sale at a reduced rate. Our Factory Store also offers pewter pieces from around the world and represents over 40 other pewter manufacturers.
In addition to Pewter, we offer a huge selection of fine quality Giftware, Mens – Womens & Childrens Gifts, Furnishings and Accessories, Jewelry, Tabletop, and Serving items, Cards, Candles, Personal items and much more. We also offer “On-Site” Engraving and Shipping.
I have no idea how much of a demand there is for pewter stuff. We own nothing pewter. I thought about buying a pewter coffee mug, but the price (and complete lack of need for another coffee cup) scared me off.
That’s something Hoang and our son Calvin used to say to each other all the time. But I’m now glad I didn’t buy it, because there’s something about pewter they don’t tell you:
CAUTIONS: Do not heat or cook in pewter, it will cause damage. Use a glass or other suitable liner for flowers and do not store beverages or foods in pewter that contain natural acids such as milk, juice, etc., as they may cause staining or pitting in your pewter piece.
Hm. Milk is barely acidic, with a pH of 6. Coffee is much more acidic, usually around a pH of 5. So I’m not sure how much anyone would enjoy a pewter coffee mug? (Of course, there very well may be some sort of non-pewter lining in it or something. I have no idea.
And in case this revelation has upset the fine folks at Woodbury Pewter, at least I’ll always have this memory: