Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Old Saybrook Metals



The very first funeral trade journal I ever received was the August 1994 edition of the American Funeral Director. I was fourteen at the time and I was hungry for information about funeral service. Even at that time my primary interest was Cremation, so naturally, I was drawn to advertisements and articles within the magazine about Cremation and Urns. One of the only advertisements that actually had pictures of Urns was one for Old Sabrook Metals.

After making a phone call to the company requesting product literature, surprisingly enough, Mr. Garry Lea, the owner and craftsman behind the Old Saybrook line, was more than willing to send me a brochure - even though I was only fourteen years old at the time. A short time later, my parents got a with a funeral director friend of mine and had him order a #301 urn for me for Christmas. It was my very first Urn... A couple years later, I saved enough money to purchase a #601. Just a few years ago, when my dear Grandpa died, he was cremated and we loving placed his cremated remains in an Old Saybrook Urn, and laid him to rest in our family plot.

Old Saybrook Metals has been creating Pewter Urns since 1981. Almost everywhere you look, you see their craftsmanship. Wilbert used an Old Saybrook Urn in their line (the Arlington Pewter) for a number of years, and Aurora's Lenox Pewter is also made by them. Both Kelco Supply and Church and Chapel have exclusive designs from Old Saybrook. There is no other company in the US that makes genuine Pewter Cremation Urns. Now, I'm not talking about brass urns with a "pewter finish," I'm talking about genuine, real-life Pewter.

Pewter is a metal alloy, mainly containing tin, but due to tin's softness, copper and antimony are added for their hardening properties and color enhancement. It has been used historically and in modern applications for tableware, figurines, and many other items. At one time, Pewter items were very popular among aristocrats and those of upper class, mainly due to its beauty and its durability.

Each urn is handcrafted on a spinning lathe using the highest grade Pewter available. After the urn is spun and assembled, it is buffed to a high luster satin finish, then coated with an automotive-grade clear coat, not only adding to its beauty, but also providing a degree of protection from tarnishing. In addition, some of the urns, many available in both keepsake and full-sizes, are finished and painted in different colors (see photo above).

In 2010, Garry and Nancy Lea sold Old Saybrook Metals to their long-time friends and largest customer, Kap-Lind Enterprises, originally in Chicago but now located in St. Louis. Lori Simmons, the President of Kap-Lind, proudly carries on the legacy of her predecessors at Old Saybrook Metals.

To this day, Old Saybrook's Urns are my most favorite and have a very special place in my heart. After almost twenty years, I am honored to have a continued friendship and relationship with their company.
At least, that's my perspective...
~ Jason

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