Forney’s history is so rich and extensive that from time to time we hear stories from customers about our old machines. Recently, we received a story from a man named Dave, and we had to know more.
Dave told us that they own a farm located in Fairmount, North Dakota in the extreme southeast corner of the state. He was about 8 years old when he witnessed a salesman climb all the way up a telephone pole to demonstrate a revolutionary new welder.
“When I was a kid a salesman came to our farm, climbed the power pole, hooked it up and demoed it. My father bought it. It stayed hooked to the pole until fall when the REA wired it into our shed. It has been through a 3′ deep flood and a tornado that threw it across the yard. It still works today. I have it in my “retirement” shop on the same farmstead,” Dave explained.
Dave recounted that he couldn’t wait until he could use the welder, and he gradually taught himself how to weld by reading a mechanics encyclopedia and practicing on scrap metal. The first thing Dave built for himself was a go-cart. He then preceded to follow in his father’s footsteps, and used the welder for automotive and farm repairs. In fact, Dave continues to use this old Size C welder today. He claims, “I use it quite often, my next project is a grapple for my loader.”
Since 1932, Forney Industries has developed products to satisfy all levels of metalworkers. In just thirteen years, Forney’s staff had grown exponentially. Some were so determined to sell machines that they began climbing utility poles to connect welders for demonstrations. When the salesmen would host these demonstrations, Farmers and other metalworkers were astounded by the advanced technological capabilities these machines encompassed that they ended up purchasing one for themselves. Seeing salesmen climb up utilities poles just to make a sale was so unusual and fascinating that many people, like Dave, still remember those demonstrations today.
Update: April 15th, 2021
After some sanding and new paint, Dave has the old welder working again, and looking good as new! Check it out below;
Thanks for your story, Dave! We love to hear how our Forney machines fit into family memories. For more information on our old machines check out this blog.
To submit your Forney welder story, email email@example.com.
I have an older Forney welding machine something kind of like the one in the story. It’s a welding machine and charger. It’s in better shape than the on in the picture. My grandfather kept it a shed at his ranch. After he past this was the only thing I was able to get. I know it was still working before he past but I’d like to get it someone to look at it. While it was at the ranch some of the outlets were plugged. I know I need to replace the plug/wire and leads.
Gary Brott. My father bought one of these from a salesman driving a truck with a 5th wheel trailer. This was up in Montana in the early 50s. He hooked it up to our meter pole and covered it with the box it came in. We used it for years. Around late 1990s my brother said the welder went boom and oil run out the bottom. He figured it was shot so replaced it with a new one. My friend Jack Forney who was a member of the High Plains Drifters also told me it was still just fine without the oil. We all miss Jack. Gary.
I have the same welder “C” that used to be my fathers. Whereas he bought it at a farm auction in the early 70’s. It was taught to weld with it by my Dad. By the time I was 14 urs old , I was his personal welder. He was a fairer as a hobby. Living in the mid- Michigan area, my Dad used to have me weld “ borium “ on the horse shoe toes and sides for added grip for the horses. And also for many other odd metal tasks that he needed done. ( I was more agile I guess) I did a lot of muffler and tailpipes fixes! I still have the welder to this day. It’s need years since I’ve used it . It needs new cables , all dry rotted & cracked . And someday soon I’ll be using it again. I’m restoring an old Jeep. It used to be a very well used machine for many years, and I plan on teaching my Grandson with it too!
The guy in the warehouse next to me built race cars with his Forney F-105. When he got I’ll and had to give up his shop he told me to take whatever I wanted and the F-105 found a new home and I taught myself how to weld. After using it for 10 years I needed more power and could have easily purchased any unit. Having had excellent results and read all about Forney’s background I decided to try and find a A, B or C model. A friend told me about a CB for sale. The owner told me his brother-in-law had it after he closed his gas station after many years and was told it was a late 50’s unit. I replaced the 70 year old capacitor just cuz and it works great. Many thanks to Ken in Marion, NC.
What an incredible story! Thank you for sharing with us.
My ole pappy had one just like this. He use it up till around 2002. His health failed and he passed in 2016. Still sitting in his old shop.
I need to get over there and get it.
Follow up on this as I got the welder back in August and got it working like a top.
This is so great to hear, Gene! If you happen to take photos of your heritage welder, feel free to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post them on our social media channels!
Sent ya some pictures Rachel. Thanks