Our History

A Legacy of Customer-Driven Excellence

S.J. Smith is a third-generation family owned company that started in 1950 when Sylvester Smith left his job as a welding and gas salesman for AIRCO. Together with his wife, Helen, they started selling safety and welding supplies and servicing smaller customers, while AIRCO continued to sell welding supplies and service to larger industrial accounts. 

In 1966, AIRCO sold its remaining welding supply business to Smith. Then in 1969, Richard Smith, son of Sylvester and Helen, joined the company. Since then, we’ve expanded outside of Davenport to include 12 additional locations in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri:

  • Corporate office in Davenport, Iowa

  • Iowa sales and service offices in Davenport, Muscatine, Cedar Rapids, Keokuk and Clinton

  • Illinois sales and service offices in Rock Falls, Pekin, Streator, Champaign, Decatur and Quincy 

  • Missouri sales and service office in Mexico

From our first day in business until now, we’ve never wavered in our commitment to meeting the individual needs of each customer—and that focus will remain for years to come. 

Our history photo gallery

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