Our History | Forney Industries

Our History
Forney's fleet truck in the 1900s versus their current 2017 truck



Forney Industries Timeline


1932: James Donovan Forney goes into business for himself selling "The Forney Instant Heat Soldering Iron," door to door across the heartland.  


1936: Forney invents and produces the first successful 110-volt/125 amp and 110-volt/150 amp welders.


1937: The Forney nationwide sales staff grows and product literature boasts, “There’s a Forney product in every town across the USA.”


1945: Rural Electric Associations (REA) begins delivery of 230 volt service to farms and ranches. The sales staff procures permission from the REA to climb utility poles to connect welders for demonstrations, and Forney welders add metal repair and tool hardening to farmers’ capabilities.


1945: Forney moves into offices on Laporte Avenue in Fort Collins, CO. Sales staff continues to grow and the 500 employees in house are turning out up to 500 welders a week.


1950: The Forney product line grows to include products such as auto generators, battery chargers, more electric welders and welding supplies. A Forney central residential vacuum system and portable vacuum cleaner was soon introduced, as was the “Fornaire,” an easy-to-fly 2-seat airplane designed for the consumer market.


1961: The Forney Transportation Museum is incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization, to house the astounding assembly of transportation devices accumulated by J.D. over the years. 


1963: Forney adds metalworking supplies to its line of welders. The product line jumps to 1,400 products from 150 outside suppliers. Forney opens a warehouse in Atlanta.


1968: Forney moves from a direct door to door business to calling on the hardware, automotive aftermarket and farm & ranch stores.


1986: Sadly, J.D. Forney passes away after 54 years in the business he created. Second generation takes over. Jack D. Forney is the new CEO and Chairman of the Board. Ted G. Anderson is named President.


1990-2000: Forney continues to grow as a leading manufacturer and distributor of metalworking and welding products, expanding from $20M in sales at the beginning of the decade to $30M by the end. Additional warehousing is opened in Horseheads, New York.


2007: Steven G. Anderson (3rd generation) takes over as President and CEO.


2008: Forney closes the Atlanta Warehouse.


2011: Forney Industries purchases a new warehouse & distribution facility in Fort Collins, Colorado, adding an additional 60,000 square feet of space, totaling just over 100,000 square feet.


2015: Forney Industries relocates their Headquarters to 2057 Vermont Ave, Fort Collins, Colorado and moves their warehouse from Horseheads, New York to a larger facility in Tipp City, Ohio.


Today: Forney Industries is a nationwide leader in the distribution of metalworking and welding products into the retail and industrial markets, with a product mix including:


  • Abrasives
  • Welding
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Workshop Tools
2057 Vermont Drive,
Fort Collins, CO 80525 Email: customerservice@forneyind.com Phone: 1-800-521-6038