Family owned since 1953!
In 1953 the Clermont Pin Company was one of only two places in the US that refurbished bowling pins. One in Detroit, MI; the other in Clermont, IA. Started by Malvin Johnson and William Nelson, the company’s main business was “refurbishing” pins through a home-grown two-step process to replace damaged wood. At that time, Clermont pin operated in a 150-mile radius. The pins were used only for recreation, given that they weren’t approved for league play. As time went on, the factory’s radius doubled to 300 miles. The Pin Company was sold to Nelson’s nephew Kenneth Nelson in 1968 and the “rebuilt” pins were eventually approved for league play. Kenny was only 49 when he died in 1990.
The company continued to operate and expand going nationwide and global, headed by his wife Judith. The novelty birthday pin was designed in 1994 and today is the leading seller. In 1998, Judy’s son Barry patented wood footballs made from used bowling pins that were beyond repair and spun off a wood sports ball company (GridWorks). Judy retired in late 2003 and sold to Barry and wife Connie Nelson which combined the two companies. Kenny and Judy’s daughter, Tami Guyer (Barry’s sister), has been key in management since 2001. Clermont Pin has remained a family owned/operated business for over 65 years and continues to expand and develop new ways to recycle used bowling pins. Clermont now offers USBC approved rebuilt pins, candy pins, birthday pins, slices, personalized awards, trophies and more.