In October 1940, Jack Walters, Sr. and his brother-in-law saw the need for quality replacement Torch Tips and created a new company called American Torch Tip Company. Walters was working as a plant manager for a competitor in Pittsburgh at the time when he decided to strike out on his own. To make his dream a reality, Walters sold torch tips during the day and went to work at the American Bridge Company at night.
Today, American Torch Tip is in its third generation of family ownership.
“Every generation has added to the company,” says Jack Walters III, President of American Torch Tip Company. “My grandfather, as an entrepreneur, he took it to a level that he felt comfortable with. And as my father came in and my uncles came in, my grandfather started to back out and my father and uncles came in and took it to the next level. And then when myself and my brothers and my cousin came in, they gave us some space and gave us the same opportunity. The challenge in a family business is, if you remain small, there can quickly become too many family members.”
To avoid dealing with that potential challenge, ATTC has continually grown and evolved. The company produces thousands of items, all sourced and made in the United States. The company has more than 100 employees and offices in Florida and the Netherlands.
When ATTC first started, there was no welder distribution association like GAWDA.
“All of our sales were directly to end users,” says Walters. “In fact, we probably didn’t get a strong distributor program until the 1970s. When we did get into the distributor world, that changed our company quite a bit.”
Today, the company works with a network of distributors in more than 50 countries throughout the world.
The company has many employees who have grown right alongside ATTC.
“When you walk through the factory and see people who have been with the company for 30 or 40 years, it really makes you proud of what we have built together,” Walters says. “I think that and our true to devotion to being Made in America are the two things that make the family most proud of this milestone.”
As the company enters its next 80 years, it will remain devoted to making its products in America. It will also focus on utilizing the changing technologies to continue to grow and improve its product offerings.