Interview: Joseph Attianese, Winchester Barrel Maker
April 1, 2006
Joseph Attianese was an employee at the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. factory in New Haven, Connecticut, from 1934 to 1977. Now 91 years old, he spoke with us shortly after the plant's March closing was announced.
F&S: How did you start out?
JA: I was just out of school, and I started in the flashlight department at 27 1/2 cents an hour. Then I worked in the barrel shop until I saw an opening upstairs in the custom shop--I worked there for 25, 30 years.
JA: Roy Rogers, Ted Williams, the astronaut [Walter] Cunningham. Ted Williams came because he started working for Sears and Roebuck [as a spokesman; Winchester manufactured many Sears-branded guns]. He took a picture with me.
F&S: How do you feel about the plant closing?
JA: I feel kinda bad, you know. I'd been there so many years. I still go by it every day. Sometimes I would go there with my children and say, "I used to work up there."