The pandemic has pumped the breaks on air travel.
With fewer folks taking flight, Connecticut’s aerospace industry has taken quite the hit.
But an East Hartford company is making the best of a difficult situation. It has pivoted from creating parts for planes to also stirring up some holiday cheer by crafting their take on the Hanukkah dreidel.
"Not too many dreidels have rolled threads for high strength, but ours do. Not too many dreidels have surgical quality knurling for grip, but ours do,” said President of Horst Engineering Scott Livingston.
Livingston's business has been in his family for three generations now.
“My grandfather was Horst. His birth name was Horst Rolf Liebenstein and when he came to Ellis Island in 1938, he changed his name to Harry Livingston.”
But like most everything in 2020 the pandemic has added its own twist to longtime traditions.
So while the East Hartford company meticulously manufactures airplane parts, “we do fasteners, pins, screws, nuts, bolts, pistons,” explained Livingston.
Horst Engineering kept some of their idle machines moving this winter by crafting a top of the line, highly engineered Hanukkah dreidels.
They're made from aluminum or stainless steel.
Their titanium batch has already sold out.
Three years ago at the company’s "Family Day," the company demoed dreidels to show kids how their machines worked.
They struck a chord and this year it made sense to offer them to consumers.
“It has been real stressful for our employees. We’ve had to adjust our business because the aerospace industry has been hurting so badly.”
So while holiday traditions may have to change this year, Horst engineering hopes to upgrade at least one: their spin on the Hanukkah dreidel.
“They’ve given us some excitement, something to talk about as we head into 2021 in what will be a year we hope to begin to grow again.”
To purchase a dreidel, click here.