The company sold automobile batteries and accessories, such as Prest-O-Lite acetylene cylinders used to fire vehicle headlights at the time. Strangely enough, live goldfish were also stocked and sold.
In 1957 H.F. Depke, George’s son, incorporated the company and changed the name to Depke Welding Supplies, reflecting the real focus on gases and welding accessories.
Mel Myers came to work for Depke in 1966 right around the time that the Champaign store was moved to Urbana. After running the company for several years, he purchased it from Herb Depke Jr. in 1977. After Mel’s retirement, Mel’s son, Curt Towne, took over the business. Depke has evolved over the years but one fundamental idea has not – service is the key to our success. We are focused on being smart, responsive and easy to do business with.