Peeler Metal Fife
Patrick Caccavale (1917-1982)
Caccavale started making fifes while working for New Britain Machine Works during World War II. By 1945, he founded his own company, Sherwood Tool Works of Berlin [Kensington]. He was an expert fifer himself and won several medals from the CF&DA competitions. He used a Kurtz fife as his model but played a bit with the tonehole design. The Caccavale instruments seemed to be limited to one design that utilized ribs of knurling embossed in the body.
Terrence [Daniel] O'Connor (1874-1957)
In 1912, O'Connor started working at a Bristol company that made scientific instruments. I believe it was the Bristol Plating Mill. He stayed there for over 30 years. However, O'Connor started making fifes in a home workshop, even before he started working at the mill. Upon his retirement in 1943, he made fifes full-time with his son Thomas in the O'Connor Music Shop. When he died in 1957, production ceased. O'Connor taught several in Waterbury, Shelton, Naugatuck, and even New Haven. This era saw a huge development of junior corps because the Catholic Church adopted fife and drums corps as part of its youth programs. Just about every church had a corps, many of which were taught by T.D. O'Connor, and won competitions while playing his fifes
Theodore Kurtz (XXXX - 1981)
Theodore ("Ted") Kurtz began making fifes around 1911, when teaching at St. Cecelia's Youth Corps in Waterbury. As a fifer and fife instructor, he was familiar with the T.D. O'Connor product and thought that he could do better. He continued producing metal fifes, in direct competition with O'Connor, until shortly before his death in 1981. By then, the Bicentennial was in full swing, and he added wooden fifes to his product line. His company was called Fifecraft.
Copyright 2003-2017, Peeler Fife Company, All Rights Reserved.
For problems with web functions (broken links, missing pages, etc.) contact