Salisbury Fine Metal Artisans In The News

The Star Democrat

Salisbury Pewter Still Remains The Presidential Preference

By TONY RUSSO | Business Editor The Star Democrat
Friday, September 28, 2012 5:26 pm

EASTON - Salisbury Pewter has, since the earliest days of the Reagan administration, provided engraved pewter items for presidents and other leaders at the state and national level to give away.

It isn't as if they have a standing contract, rather the quality and uniqueness of the pewter gifts has made them stand out. In addition to items it has had ordered by the last five sitting presidents, Salisbury Pewter produces items for the Secretary of State to take as gifts during foreign travel as well as for various branches of the military and the Department of Homeland Security.

For instance, the company came to the attention of President Barack Obama when he saw the platters and cups Vice President Joe Biden had engraved with the Delaware crest and ordered a few bearing the seal of his home state of Illinois as well as his signature.

Because they provide items for the congressional gift shop and special commissions for presidents with some regularity, it wasn't too surprising when an order for several hundred pewter cups and several hundred pewter platters came in from the White House. Salisbury Pewter has the technology to reproduce any signature as an engraving, which also sets them apart as a company.

They shipped the president's order out in July and forgot about it. When they fill orders for presidents and other dignitaries, Salisbury Pewter keeps several from the run as examples of the work they provide, but they don't really keep track of what happens to the items they make. So when Greg Callahan, who runs the press department where the platter was made saw Salisbury Pewter's handiwork on the news, there was a tingle of excitement.

"We take the orders but don't often get to see where they go," said Michael Clemmer Jr., president of Salisbury Pewter.

One of the hundreds of cup and tray sets produced for Obama made it to Iowa where it was given to newlyweds who had their reception in the same hall Obama was using for a fundraiser. According to the Associated Press, an Urbandale, Iowa couple booked the barn at Living History Farms in Urbandale for their Sept. 1 wedding six months before. Newlyweds Jon and Sayli Gibbs were concerned Obama's fundraiser might interfere with their reception, but as it turned out, the events did not conflict.

When they arrived for the reception, they found the president left a handwritten card that said said, "Michelle and I wish you a great life together. Barack Obama." Next to the card were the Salisbury Pewter cup and tray set.

Because of the way he presented the gift, the story got national coverage. The coverage is what gave the employees at Salisbury Pewter the rare opportunity to see what happens to their handiwork when it leaves the Easton facility.

"We are extremely proud and honored to represent the president, our country and U.S. manufacturing," Clemmer said.

President Obama Gives Iowa Couple Huge Wedding Surprise

By Melissa Knowles | Yahoo! News, Trending Now
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

When Sayli and Jon Gibbs got married on Sept. 1 at Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa, in front of close friends and family, they expected that it would be a romantic day they would never forget. What they did not expect was that the barn they chose would also be the site of a last-minute rally for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.

The couple was told that the president's event, which started in the morning, may run past schedule, and that the parking lot of the venue would be closed to cars. So Sayli had to walk across the parking lot carrying her wedding gown. Luckily for the couple, the president left on time, and he also left behind a special gift: a silver tray and a mint julep cup, both with the presidential seal, and a handwritten note that read, "Congratulations on the wedding. Michelle and I wish you a great life together. Barack Obama."

Neither Sayli nor Jon is a registered Democrat; nonetheless, they were still delighted to receive the gift. Jon Gibbs said, "Love him or hate him, it's a gift from the president." Photographer Loren Paul snapped a picture of the gift, and a friend posted it on Reddit, where it made the front page and received hundreds of comments.

One commenter questioned how the president had gifts like that on hand, writing, "I wonder if the President has a box of emergency presents, just for times like these." It's not clear if the president carries around a stash of gifts, but one thing's for sure: Sayli and Jon Gibbs will have an incredible wedding story to share for a lifetime.