Hobart Brothers Celebrates 100th Anniversary
A rich legacy of welding innovation was celebrated by more than 500 current and retired employees, friends and corporate partners, customers and business colleagues, and local city officials.
It all began when Charles Clarence (C.C.) Hobart, his wife and three sons incorporated Hobart Brothers Company (Troy, OH) on March 24, 1917, for the purpose of engineering, manufacturing and selling specialized electrical equipment. Two of his three sons developed the first battery charger in the 1920s and led the company into the arc welding field. The first electric arc welder was built by Hobart around 1925. By 1931, the Hobart Trade School became a separate, non-profit entity that evolved and grew into the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology, recognized throughout the world as a leader in welding education.
In the decades that followed, Hobart Brothers emerged as an international brand known for innovations in welding equipment and filler metals and expanded into diverse market sectors through mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. The company was family-owned and operated until 1996, when they became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works, Inc. (ITW; Glenview, IL), a diversified multinational manufacturer of highly engineered components, assemblies and systems.
This rich legacy was celebrated by more than 500 current and retired employees during a “family picnic” hosted by the company on the front lawn of their headquarters in Troy on Thursday, May 18, to celebrate their 100th anniversary. William C. Hobart, the grandson of the founder, and his wife, Julia, were in attendance at the celebration, along with dozens of family, friends and corporate partners, customers and business colleagues, and local city officials.
There were several speakers during the luncheon, beginning with David Knoll, the vice president and general manager of Hobart Brothers, who revisited some of the highlights of the company’s history and recognized several individuals and the contributions of all the employees over the years who helped the company reach this milestone. John Hartnett, the executive vice president of ITW, congratulated the company on their success and thanked both the employees and local community for their commitment. Also in attendance was ITW chairman and chief executive officer Scott Santi. Mayor Michael Beamish completed the ceremony with closing remarks and handing Knoll a city proclamation that honored the company for their economic and social contributions to the local community.
Janet Piechocki, a marketing/career development representative at the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology, led a tour of their recently expanded operation that is housed in two facilities located on a 12 acre campus. The Main Campus is a 121,947 sq ft facility featuring 282 arc welding booths for hands-on training and 17 air conditioned A/V equipped classrooms. An Oxyacetylene area has 27 welding stations and 14 flame cutting stations.
The North Campus is a 16,309 sq ft facility featuring three state-of-the-art classrooms containing high tech A/V training aids and 24 arc welding booths for demonstration, training and certification testing. It also houses labs for destructive and non-destructive testing and certification including Digital X-Ray capability, and a classroom/lab for liquid penetrant and magnetic particle inspection and training.