Lincoln Electric Company History Timeline

(186 Jobs)

Lincoln Electric was founded on December 5, 1895, in Cleveland, Ohio, United StatesA. An initial $200 investment was used to develop and commercialize a unique, direct current electric motor for industrial applications.

In 1895 the W. H. Elliott Co. was reorganized as the Elliott-Lincoln Electric Co. with John C. Lincoln as president.

It was founded by engineer John C. Lincoln in 1895 to manufacture an industrial motor of his own design.


John C. Lincoln was also a principal in a separate company called the Lincoln Electric Manufacturing Co., which was founded in 1905 by Reuben & Charles Hitchcock, who were the sons of John Lincoln’s cousin, Peter Hitchcock.


On 9 June 1906, with 20 employees and $10,000 in capital, he incorporated the Lincoln Electric Co.

In 1906, Lincoln sold out his interest in this company for $25,000.


Lincoln Motor Works concentrated on the manufacture of D. C. motors and generators while Lincoln Electric Co. manufactured A. C. equipment. It was reorganized in 1907 as the Lincoln Motor Works.


By 1911, John C. and James F. Lincoln invented and launched their first variable voltage arc welder, an innovation that catapulted Lincoln Electric into a new technology and industry that would drive its future success.


Lincoln Electric Co. was listed as an Electric Motor manufacturer in 1921.

EMF electrical year book, Volume 1, 1921 page 485


John C. Lincoln remained active in the company as its president until 1928 and as chairman of the board through the following years.


James Lincoln was also influential in developing a worker incentive plan in which the company offered its employees free life insurance and paid vacations; however, the plan's major element was an incentive bonus instituted in 1934.


Another aspect of the Lincoln plan was the guaranteed-employment program begun in 1958, in which the non-union company guaranteed jobs for its workers while the employees agreed to accept necessary job and schedule changes.


The American Century of John C. Lincoln (1962).


Upon James Lincoln’s death in 1965, William Irrgang, who had started at the company on the assembly line, assumed the position of CEO and chairman.


With $4 million in sales that year, the company paid $131,800 in bonuses; in 1981 Lincoln's 2,684 employees shared a record $59 million in bonuses, an average of $22,008 per recipient.


Donald F. Hastings succeeded Willis in 1992.


Anthony Massaro was named President and the chief operating officer in 1996.


Just before Christmas, 2018, the Blytheville plant was closed and product transferred to Wausau (rolled steel frames and 400 HZ DOD generators) and smaller product transferred to Monterey, MX.

Company Founded
Cleveland, OH
Company Headquarter
John Lincoln
Company Founders

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