The heating element is now located outside on the Palmer Hot Pot-2 Melter, an enhanced model of the conventional "electric ladle," substantially extending the element's life. Lead is both melted and poured by the HOT POT-2. An excellent starter lead melter unit because there is nothing else to purchase.
Palmer Hot Pot-2 Melter
• Specially made to melt lower-temperature alloys
• Lead melter for fishing sinkers
• Can accommodate four pounds of metal.
• Alternative heating element
• Cast iron body
• Plastic handle
Power: 120 V AC, 500 WATTS
Length: 12.00 (in)
Width: 4.00 (in)
Height: 4.00 (in)
By 1936, Palmieri had married and settled in West Newton with his wife Helen.
Palmieri dug out a basement in their house, and he liked to go there to tinker with tools and equipment. One day he decided to improve a handheld pizzelle iron he had purchased.
He didn't like the design on the metal plates, where the batter was poured, so he decided to make his own. With nothing more than three sacks of molding sand, 4 1/2 pounds of aluminum, and a coal furnace, Palmieri crafted his own mold with a flower design. He was shaking when it came time to open the mold.
The success in the basement gave Palmieri the incentive to produce his own handheld irons. He built his own foundry in the backyard and went to work. He carried the irons himself by bus or train to the Strip District, where Italian grocers such as Pennsylvania Macaroni and Sunseri Brothers agreed to stock them and advised him about business.
Palmieri streamlined the production process to cut costs, Americanized the name to Palmer and, after some initial mistakes, learned how to price the handheld irons appropriately: $2.50. He was so confident about his work, he offered a 10-year warranty, which the company still honors today.
Before long, Palmieri's backyard foundry was too small for the work. He expanded it twice over the years.
By 1965, Palmieri outgrew the backyard and moved his operations to a modern facility in the rural countryside above West Newton and, with his son's help, transformed the business. Sand molds have given way to die casts. Computers are an integral part of the operation. And the tiny coal furnace is now a massive gas-fired piece of equipment fed by 1,000 lb ingots of aluminum.
The foundry operations expanded, as did the company's product lines. But while changes have occurred over the decades, the pizzelle iron and variations of it are still part of the company's catalog. This year two new irons were added -- one that makes three smaller round cookies and another that makes three oval cookies. As he looks back on six decades in the business, Palmieri smiles and refuses to take credit for his success. Above all else, he is a deeply religious man. America, he says, gave him the opportunity. But he thanks God for the life he's had.
"You never walk alone, and you never say I," he said glancing upward. "Say we did it. We did it."
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