D Picking and Company, a manufacturer of copper products, is an outgrowth of the Jacob Geiger-Daniel Picking Hardware Store, which was located in the 1800's on Sandusky Ave in Bucyrus, Ohio. During the summer and early fall months of each year there was a demand at the Hardware Store for Apple Butter Kettles. These had to be purchased for resale from Schaum Brothers of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After a study of these kettles, the partners decided that the Hardware Store's tinsmiths could become coppersmiths and that the Hardware Store could manufacture their own kettles.
To that end, two coppersmiths were brought from Pennsylvania, settled in homes with their families, and a training period began. It wasn't long before the store's tinsmiths became coppersmiths, and the store began selling their own Apple Butter Kettles in 1874. The Picking and Geiger partnership was dissolved in 1879 and the business became known as D Picking and Company.
A poor apple year in 1880, prompted Daniel Picking to expand to other production items of not only Apple Butter Kettles but for Swiss Cheese Kettles and bowls for Tympani.
The most dramatic change in the business came with the arrival of electricity. In 1912, electrically driven motors for the hammering, done previously by hand, made production faster, and certainly easier for the coppersmiths.
The product lines of the company changed somewhat when Swiss cheese makers turned to stainless steel equipment for cheese making. D Picking and Company replaced the making of their Cheese Kettle with the production of Popcorn Kettles designed for making caramel corn and sugar corn.
Ownership of the company moved from Daniel Picking to his sons Charles and Wilfred. And eventually to Charles's son Robert, who had entered the business after his graduation from high school in 1899.
Later, copper items were made to be used in homes for primarily decorative purposes. Available now are hammered copper items such as old fashioned Coal Hods and Shovels; Flat Bottom Kettles, in sizes 1 quart to 15 gallon; decorative Bowls; round and oval Wastebaskets; and Preserve Kettles; Skimmers, Ladles, and Scoops. A most highly prized item is a Miniature Cheese Kettle made entirely by hand.
Since 2001, a highly skilled D Picking and Company coppersmith has been working with an Architectural Landscaping Firm in Washington D C, in the creation of decorative copper pieces and fountains for gardens. We are also available to do any custom work of your design.
At the demise of Robert Picking in 1983, his daughter, Helen Picking Neff became the owner of D Picking and Company. As has always been the case, interested persons may visit the Shop. Pre-arrangements for visits are necessary. It is important to Mrs. Neff, there remains a shop where visitors can see the making of products, as they were made in the 1800s and are still being made and sold today.