History Corner Milestone 1: Founding and Early Years

The Start of a Family Legacy

CK Supply opened for business on Nov. 3, 1948. Owned by Ralph Chase and Ralph Knight, it was the Midwest distributor for National Cylinder Gas Company, a major commercial gas company and welding equipment provider at the time. CK was named using the first letter of each owner’s last name—“C” for Chase and “K” for Knight. This was the status quo until Aug. 22, 1951, when the assets of the company were sold to Homer Fudge. During this time, a service technician from National Cylinder Gas Company named Paul Dunn worked with Homer and CK, learning the business and discovering the ins and outs of commercial gas and welding supply. By April of 1955, Dunn was the Sales Manager for CK Supply, and that December he and his family had scraped up enough money to purchase the company. Thus began a legacy of family ownership that would continue unbroken for the next 65 years.

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