90-Year Old Coppersmith Still Turning Out Lanterns


At age 90, Bill Paulk is still hand crafting copper lanterns.

When Bill Paulk opened his coppersmith company in 1985 at age 64 he says it was as “a retirement business.”  Now 26 years later at age 90, Paulk gives no hint of real retirement.

“But my wife doesn’t want me to advertise because it might bring in too much business,” says Paulk.  The shop is a one man operation and Paulk turns out a hand crafted copper lantern about every four days.

His shop in Mobile, Alabama, has supplied ornamental street lighting for subdivision all over the country.

“I even have some of my lanterns in a residential development in Kuwait,” says Paulk, who explained that one afternoon a guy drove up to his shop in a big black Mercedes.  “He got out and walked around for a while looking at the different styles of lanterns.  For a while he didn’t seem real interested, but then he ordered a bunch of lanterns and peeled off a wad one-hundred dollar bills to pay for them.  He shipped them to Kuwait where he was developing a subdivision.”

Paulk’s lanterns sell for a minimum of $350 with the top models bringing well over $1,000.

Before “retirement,” Paulk spent his career in sheet metal work.  He worked with several local companies and did the sheet metal work for the first air conditioning system in the original Battle House Hotel and the Waterman Building, both regional landmarks.

“It’s been a good life,” says Paulk who seems as nimble today as men 30 years his junior.

Indeed it has.

#     #     #

Advertisements

About William Bruce

President, American Business Brokers Association / Business Broker and Accredited Business Intermediary assisting business buyers and sellers with the transfer of ownership since 1986 / Author: How to Buy a Business.
This entry was posted in Alabama, Mobile Alabama, William Bruce and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 90-Year Old Coppersmith Still Turning Out Lanterns

  1. Pingback: What’s With Camden, Alabama? Is There Something in the Water? | Flying Bridges & Hyperactive Azaleas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s