wally and ted's excellent adventure

Badger Welding Supplies Bldg. and Truck Fleet, circa late 1940’s

With WWII capturing the headlines, Ted Gleesing opened the doors to Badger Welding Supplies, Inc.

It was 1942. The world was changing. And business was too. Ted saw a need to develop a true welding distributorship in Madison, meaning they brought all of their gases, consumables and equipment into the Badger facility in the finished state: gases in cylinders, welding equipment pre-assembled, and torch kits boxed and ready to weld.

Customers were impressed, the business grew, and the war ended. Ted, for all his efforts, found himself a proud owner of a successful business.

Badger Welding Supplies Bldg., circa late 1950’s

That success didn’t go unnoticed by a young metallurgical engineer, and sales and applications representative for the Air Reduction Corp., named Wally Griskavich. Wally called on Ted often. It wasn’t long until a rapport grew between the two, with Wally fond of telling Ted, “You’ve got a gold mine here, Ted. If you ever feel compelled to sell this business, call me first.”

But purchasing a business wasn’t much on Wally’s mind when a job transfer came across his desk. That is until he got a call two weeks before he was to move his family from Madison to Milwaukee. A call from Ted.

Ted informed Wally that his doctor had advised him to retire. The business was for sale.

Wally got his wish.

So a flurry of activity involving financing, cancellations, resignations, and relocations ensued. And in 1955, with rock and roll capturing the radio waves, Wally took the helm at Badger.

Wally and Ted, 1972


Under Wally’s stewardship, Badger continued to thrive through the years. And so did his family. It wasn’t long before Wally was sitting at the college graduation of his son, Scott.

After taking his degree on a very brief stint to an auto manufacturing facility, Scott joined Badger. Perhaps a top position awaited. But if Scott thought that would result in a vice president’s office, he was quickly disabused of this notion.

Wally wanted someone who knew the business from the ground up. So that’s where Scott started: on the ground.

He learned in the service department, put his hands to work in vehicle maintenance, cylinder filling and maintenance. And assisted customers in both outside and inside sales.

Then, in the late 1990s, with the understanding of the business firmly in hand (and under his nails), Scott became President of Badger Welding Supplies.

All in the extended family.

While Badger remains a family-owned business, it’s continued success is due in part to an extended family of employees.

In fact, many of the staff at Badger today started and grew up with Scott in the business—with the average length of service for all employees at 20.1 years.

Such dedication to Badger is a testament to what Ted started, Wally continued and Scott carries on: a commitment to run a business that takes great care of its customers and employees.

As a result, Badger Welding Supplies continues its long history of being a trusted resource for all things welding and gas.