Wendell August Forge Celebrates 95 Years
(3 months ago)
GROVE CITY, Pa., Feb. 14: Wendell August Forge, America's oldest and largest forge, is celebrating its 95th Anniversary in 2018. The Western Pennsylvania-based premium metal giftware brand that offers handcrafted, American-made products, is planning a year-long celebration to honor 95 years of American craftsmanship.
"Ninety-five is an amazing number in our world. When you think about the lifespan of a typical company, we feel blessed to still be going strong. Many manufacturing facilities haven't been as fortunate," says Wendell August Forge President Christian Werner. Founded in 1923, the Forge survived the Great Depression, a forced closure during World War II as aluminum was sent to the war effort, the dramatic decline of American manufacturing, and a catastrophic fire that destroyed the company's historic flagship store, manufacturing facility and offices. "It hasn't been an easy road by any means, but we truly feel like we've lived the American dream here at Wendell August," Werner says. "As a family-owned company, our employees and customers who support our team are who have kept us going. Without each and every craftsman and woman, giving us their passion and talents each day, we wouldn't be standing here as a strong business continuing to provide quality handcrafted keepsakes for 95 years."
Wendell August Forge has played an interesting role in major world events over its 95 years. Everything from having crafted mementos in honor of the "Millionaires' Flight" for the doomed Hindenburg air ship to being commissioned by the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency to produce 12 bronze plates commemorating the SALT II treaty between the U.S. and Russia. Today, the Forge is most famous for its giftware and Christmas ornaments sold through retail stores and online. Additionally, the custom products team creates masterpieces for thousands of businesses, sports teams, and the "who's who" of American society. "I think our customers would be surprised by some of the people and companies we've worked with in recent years. From Disney, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Warren Buffet to Rush Limbaugh, we've handcrafted custom pieces for some of the biggest names in the USA," Werner says. "People still care about supporting American made products. We're excited every time someone looks at Wendell August Forge and appreciates that it isn't mass produced overseas."
Activities are planned throughout 2018. "We want to focus on special events for the communities we live in, company events for our employees and families and for our customers alike," Werner says, also adding that "an official 95th handstamp has been commissioned for the anniversary that will align with our heritage of marking each handmade piece." The company's Director of Marketing Erin Lewis says new products will also be part of the celebration, "We're also creating some really special pieces this year. We've stepped up our capabilities, and our design team has taken our product to entirely new level this year. We'll be handcrafting a limited edition 95th anniversary collection that will include some of our best pieces in gold and silver, adorned with Swarovski Crystals. They're showstoppers, so we are excited to offer them to our customers, whose support has been critical to our success." Werner added, "I could not be prouder of our team's craftsmanship and artistry. 95 years is just the beginning of the Wendell August Forge story."