~~ Brief History of Wilton Armetale ~~

While surfing around the internet, I found this wonderful brief history of Wilton Armetale. I am sorry that I cannot remember where I got it, or who to credit, but I do remember that it came from an independent source. This means that this article was written by someone with no connection to Wilton Armetale, nor profited by it's words.

************************************* begin report **********************************

Wilton Armetale - Mount Joy, PA
Original Date: 01/11/1999
Revision Date: 06/29/2001

Survey Summary
The Wilton family has been involved in the metal casting industry since 1892 when Ralph P. Wilton, Sr. began working for his uncle at the Susquehanna Casting Company near Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. At that time, the foundry produced industrial iron castings for other manufacturers. Half a century later, Ralph P. Wilton, Jr. expanded the family business through other ventures, such as Wilton Products (1940) which made cast iron gifts and the Wilton Brass Company (1955) which initially produced industrial brass, aluminum, and iron castings. The company's greatest success occurred in 1963 when Wilton, Jr. developed the formula for a unique aluminum-based alloy called Armetale, which led to a new line of Wilton products. In 1969, the Wilton Brass Company relocated to Mount Joy, Pennsylvania and changed its name to reflect its new direction. Today, Wilton Armetale combines innovative design with old-world craftsmanship to produce a successful line of serveware, giftware, and decorative accessories.

Wilton Armetale's products are produced by using an ancient painstaking process called sand molding, whereby an impression formed in sand is filled with molten metal. Since items are individually cast and meticulously hand-finished, no two pieces are exactly alike. Not surprisingly, the Armetale formula remains a closely guarded family secret. When cast, this metal alloy can be worked to acquire the look of pewter or be highly polished to resemble silver. Products made from Armetale are functional as well as beautiful. The tarnish-resistant alloy will not crack, chip, or dent; and its ability to retain temperatures makes it versatile for heating, chilling, and serving. Design is an important element of Wilton Armetale's products, so it is fitting that the name Armetale means art metal.

Currently run by third- and fourth-generation Wiltons, the company employs 200 personnel. Wilton Armetale promotes a strong team-oriented atmosphere, advocates community involvement, and personalizes its customer service. The company also strives for environmental excellence. In 1997, Wilton Armetale achieved ISO-14001 certification, and became the first foundry to conform to this international standard. As a result of its efforts, the company received the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence in 1996 and 1998. The company's proactive approach promotes communication, innovation, and leadership. Among the best practices documented were Wilton Armetale's management atmosphere; environmental program; marketing team; and customer orders and service.

Keeping up with design trends/marketing and developing products for functional/decorative use remain Wilton Armetale's top priorities. Internally, the company employs a progressive management style and a continuous improvement program to resolve challenges and stay competitive. The result is a proactive empowered culture characterized by customer focus, active employee involvement, and attention to detail. The Wilton Armetale products, themselves, represent the company's commitment to excellence with their style, romance, and beauty. The BMP survey team considers the following practices to be among the best in industry and government.

The following acronyms were used in this report:
EDI Electronic Data Interchange
NFFS Non-Ferrous Founders Society
QA Quality Assurance
REACH Renewal, Enhancement, and Advancement of the Community through its Heritage

****************************** end report *****************************