Lens on History: Have welder, will travel
In the 1930s, there were still many farms in Olmsted County that didn't have electricity. Whether making repairs to equipment or needing something to be fabricated, it meant hauling items to the nearest welding shop or blacksmith.
Edward Allen and Lawler Skelly had a better idea.
When they opened Allen & Skelly Welding at 419 S Broadway in 1936, they employed the latest in welding technology — a self-contained, portable welder powered by a Ford flathead V-8 engine and pulled by a Ford pickup.
It seems fitting that these photos were taken in the alley between their shop and the local Ford dealer, Motor Sales & Service Company.
With the new equipment, Allen and Skelly Welding were able to weld bridge beams on a rural road one day and build a swing set in a backyard the next day.