Blast From the Past

Eric Lee reached out to us from the Fort Worth, Texas area. He shared a story about how his great grandad was a welder dating back to the 1930s. He passed in 1990. When Eric began welding, his grandad asked if he wanted any of his tools. He drove down to Iraan, Tx and picked up a bunch of stuff (most ended up being nostalgic and decoration around the shop).

Among those items, he gave him two acetylene generators. He shared that his grandpa was a rig welder and used them, as he didn’t have a stick welder (he later got an old buzz box which he just used in his shop). Once Eric has the generators and contacted about 20 different gas suppliers and welding shops - he realized most don’t even know what they are. They thought he was talking about regulators. These things took carbide and water and generated acetylene.

1900's generators
1900's Acetylene Generators

He says he is pretty sure they are unusable now, even if he wanted them to work. He looked up the patent numbers, all applied for in 1927 and filed between 1930 and 1932. One is free standing, the other is on a cart that his great grandpa made - it still has some of his rods.

Ox Weld Rod Holders
Ox Weld Rod Holders

On the side of the one, the company “Welderz Frend” appears. Eric dug up a little more on “Welderz Frend”, located the patents (patent numbers are on the tank). All of the patents were filed by Herbert G. Irwin in 1927. There’s also a really rad story about him from Sabine Parish, La (

Welderz Frend Acetylene Generator