New Bedford Welding Supply Inc is a third generation family owned business started in July of 1969 by Robert W. Cook.
In 1969 after working for New Bedford Steel and Supply for over forty years N.B. Steel & Supply decided to go out of business and Robert found himself without a job. At this point Mr. Cook decided to go out on his own and start New Bedford Welding Supply with his wife Ruth. They rented a small office and a two stall garage in the north end of the city and began selling welding supplies to many of his former customers. Shortly thereafter he was joined in the business by his son Robert C. Cook with whom he worked with until the senior Mr. Cook passed away in 1997.
Sometime in the mid-eighties young Bob decided he needed to expand the business and began looking for a new location. In August of 1985 Bob and his wife Laurell moved the company to the North Terminal section of New Bedford’s waterfront to a brand new 10,000 sqft. facility. At this facility is where the word expansion really got its meaning.
Over time with the help of its family NBWS began filling cylinders on their own. Almost simultaneously they began filling oxygen, carbon dioxide and propane cylinders. After the success of the new location and filling had taken off Nitrogen was added to the gases filled on site followed shortly by the Argon. The business was expanding and an opportunity came up to purchase another location so in 1991 the Taunton location was purchased.
With all this activity Bob’s oldest son Michael joined the company full time after graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1996. A couple of years later after graduating from Manchester Technical College in 1998 Bob’s youngest son Jeffery came aboard. Both boys were raised in the business from a very young age painting tanks and emptying trash. Right about this time the company was growing quickly with the addition of on-site filling of propylene and helium cylinders. Space was becoming a premium.
In June of 1998 NBWS underwent another expansion purchasing the 20,000 sqft. building next door to expand their showroom, warehouse and office facilities to better serve their customers. At the time of this move NBWS’s showroom tripled in size allowing many new hardgood lines to be added to an already full store. In 2007 another opportunity for expansion came along and the company purchased Woonsocket Supply in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. After much success the retail store was moved to a brand new location only miles away to its present location in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.