For almost a century, the Preisner Pewter Company has been synonymous with quality pewter and sterling silver trophies, giftware, and luxury goods. Over the years, Preisner workmanship has been requested by companies famous for their quality such as Tiffany’s, Ralph Lauren, and Cartier.
The early days of Preisner Pewter Company were much more difficult than the illustrious time at its peak. Three brothers, Ben, John, and Frank Preisner, founded the company in 1935, before World War II.
When they were just children, they came up from Louisiana with just the clothes on their back. They arrived in Wallingford CT in 1915, and all three became apprentices at Wallace Silver. After working there for years they decided to go into business for themselves.
At first, the Preisner Pewter Company was a huge success and business was booming, but in 1941 the U.S.A. entered World War II.
Pewter and Silver Shortages in WWII
Silver is an incredibly useful and versatile metal, and in the days of WWII metal was in short supply. During the war, silver helped cover country-wide shortages in tin, the main ingredient in pewter, along with nickel, aluminum, and copper.
Today it seems strange that an expensive precious metal like silver substituted for copper, but silver, like copper, is an incredibly good electrical conductor. Besides that it has other properties that allow it to fill all sorts of roles. It was used in everything from electric motors to aircraft ball bearings.
To make things harder, the U.S. military drafted most of their employees. In those days they sold silver and pewter when they could. When they could not, they raised chickens in the company yard for the war effort.
After World War II ended in 1945, their employees came back from fighting overseas. Finally, the Preisner Pewter Company could stop raising chickens and return to pewter and silver production.
The Preisner Pewter Company Today
In the early 2000’s, the Preisner brothers retired from the silver business, and sold the Preisner Pewter Company to the Oldani Family. The apprentices that they taught, now masters, remain with the company and continue to produce the Preisners’ famous line of pewter and sterling silver.
Today, the Preisner Pewter Company continues to manufacture pewter and sterling silver at its location in Meriden, CT under the name and management of Peter and Steven Oldani.
Connecticut House Pewter
Oldani Brothers is the exclusive producer of Preisner Pewter goods alongside lines from both Connecticut House Pewter and Valerio Albarello.