I fixed up the handshield on the right so the Missus could watch the eclipse last month. I put some fresh electrical tape over the cracks but I was thinking at the time that this old dog had pretty much run it's course. I'm thinking I inherited that thing when I first started teaching back in '76. The guy who I replaced had been around a while - in fact he was training welders for the war effort back in the 40's. That would make it about 75 years old. It's marked Air Reduction Sales Company - Patented.
Airco used to make all types of welding equipment - torches, regulators, power sources, etc. I've got a set of regulators and an Airco MIG machine with an Airco spool gun on it. I don't know what's up with the company now. I did a search and I saw a couple of new things with the Air Reduction Sales Company name but as far as I know they aren't making welding equipment any longer. I came across an outfit selling a copy of the spool gun at a welding show a few years back, which is nice since I can still get parts for mine that way.
Regardless of what, if anything is going on with Airco these days, the old handshield is no more. It went out with the trash this week and has been replaced with the one on the left in the photo. I had a junk helmet that someone gave me because they lost the pieces for the headgear. I cut a piece of PVC pipe, warmed it up with the heat gun to squeeze it flat and put an angle bend on it, riveted it to the helmet and then gave it a quick coat of flat black. I'm thinking I might wrap the handle with hockey tape. Not necessary, but I've got a roll of it, so why not?