Author: GAWDA MEDIA

Bug-O Systems In 1943 the Livesay Multipurpose Machine was invented by Everett Livesay to increase the production of ships and landing craft at Higgins Shipyards in Louisiana. Five years later, H. Edward Cable, a consultant to the welding industry, and four business partners founded the company D&R Electric Company, Inc. on April 6, 1948. By 1958, the company had changed its name to Weld Tooling Corporation and Herbert E. Cable had joined the company as the company acquired the original patent rights to the Livesay Multipurpose Machine. Development and redesign work began, and the BUG-0 was the original model number…

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McKinney Welding Supply As New York City became the world’s largest manufacturing center and the introduction of TIG welding, followed by arc welding later in the decade, Charles McKinney recognized the need for a welding supply company. In 1943, in the heart of New York City on West 52nd St., McKinney opened McKinney Welding Supply Company. After successfully running the business for twenty years, Charles retired, selling the business to Nicholas Mattiace Sr., who had started as a truck driver for McKinney Welding, later working his way up to manager before taking over for Charles. Although the company has moved…

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Willard C. Starcher Willard C. Starcher, Inc.  was founded by Willard Starcher in 1938. Prior to opening the company, Starcher had worked as a schoolteacher and then as a mechanic fixing generators and refrigerators. He opened Willard C. Starcher in his hometown of Spencer, West Virginia, in a garage behind his house. More than 80 years later, the company continues to operate out of Spencer. “We’re located in rural West Virginia, in a town of 2,600 people,” says John Hill, Starcher’s grandson and current company president. “And it probably had 2,600 people 85 years ago, when the company was started. But it’s our…

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Sherwood Valve Celebrates 85 year anniversary Sherwood Valve has its earliest roots in the Hill Clutch and Machine & Foundry Company founded in 1894. In 1923, Aluminum & Brass Company, a turn of the century foundry, produced the first industrial valves in Lockport, New York. In 1934, Hill Clutch & Machine designed the first hydraulic grinder in the United States. In 1938, the Deutsch Company was founded by two brothers. Deutsch Company introduced the first LPG valves under American Screw Products in 1940. All of these industry firsts are tied to Sherwood’s history — still today the only totally…

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85 Year anniversary for Purity Cylinder Gases In 1938, Edward Butterfield, Glenn G. Garman and Howard Sweet organized Purity Cylinder Gases. The company was incorporated into the state of Michigan in October of that year, and the first ever store was opened at 721 S. Division Avenue in Grand Rapids. In the mid-1960s, three of the distributor’s employees became new officers within the company. GlennDeVries, Ken Nyhuis, and Don Wyngarden purchased the company from the original founders. These three officers began to build onto the solid foundation left by Butterfield, Garman and Sweet. “The second generation really started that growth process,” says Doug Nyhuis, President…

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West Penn Laco Celebrates 95 Years West Penn Laco was founded by Andrew Seibert in 1928 in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty Section. Originally founded as West Penn Lacquer Company, the company was a supplier of automotive lacquer coatings to the Pittsburgh Market. Even 95 years later, automotive refinish products remain a significant component of West Penn Laco’s business. In 1947, Alex MacKay, Andrew Seibert’s son-in-law, and Bill Richards purchased the controlling interest in the company. Ever since, the business has remained in the family, with Alex’s son, Howard MacKay serving as President today, while his grandson, Scott MacKay serves as General…

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Sutton-Garten Co. Sutton-Garten Company is celebrating its 105th anniversary in 2023. The company began in 1918 when Charles Sutton and Ray Garten, two Union Carbide employees, were given the right to establish a Prest-O-Lite distributorship for the state of Indiana in Indianapolis. Aside from selling small acetylene cylinders and gas equipment, Sutton-Garten also installed gas lighting systems on cars and trucks and maintained a welding repair shop. “We have been able to grow and evolve the company by embracing the changes in our market,” says President Pat Garten. “Both new products from our vendors and changes in our customer needs.…

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ILMO Products Company 110 Year Anniversary Like most companies that have lasted for 110 years, ILMO Products Company bears little resemblance to the company founded in 1913. When D.O. Floreth and his father, Henry Floreth, decided to open their doors, the company was a wholesaler of automobile accessories called Illinois Tire and Vulcanizing Company. Later, as the company evolved, it began going by Illinois Tire & Battery. It was through the automobile industry that today’s ILMO Products entered the gas business.  “[ILMO] got into the gas business through the carbide acetylene headlights for automobiles,” says Executive Vice President Liz Standley. “We…

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GAWDA Members Commemorate Milestone Anniversaries in 2023 Congratulations to all GAWDA members celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2023. GAWDA members represent the best-of-the-best companies in the gases and welding industries. Each year in the Summer issue, we recognize those GAWDA Members celebrating milestone anniversaries. In the Q3 issue’s President’s Column, GAWDA President Robert Anders explored the three C’s of longevity. We want to add a fourth C for this column: Congratulations to all those GAWDA members celebrating anniversaries this year! And if you have a milestone anniversary coming up in 2024 and would like to be featured in this column next…

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Norton Abrasives In 1858, Franklin Norton and his older cousin, Frederick Hancock opened a pottery shop in Worcester, Massachusetts, called the Water Street Pottery Shop. In 1873, one of the employees of the shop invented a grinding wheel that would set in motion the next century and a half of history. In 1885, seven Worcester entrepreneurs bought the patent for the grinding wheel as well as the company name and so, Norton Company was born. The founders purchased land in the city’s Greendale section, which was then farmland, and built their first grinding wheel plant. Norton has occupied that land…

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