Nealco was founded in 1971 by Neal Shirley. Before starting Nealco, He was given a job in 1951 for a small "locally owned" welding supply company in Gadsden. He went from a "dock boy" to store manager quickly. After numerous company buyouts, Neal was working for Alabama Oxygen as a manager for all there Alabama operations. He was given a call on a Friday from the owner saying the company had been sold and he would be working for a new group the following Monday. At that point Neal decided to open his own company and started Nealco Products Inc. that Monday instead. To date Nealco is in the same location.
Neal's oldest son Joel "Bo" Shirley always had the same passion as his father concerning the welding supply/industrial &medical gas business. Bo started working at the business during his middle childhood. He worked at the cylinder fill plant as a "dock boy" full time during summers and was placed as operations manager during his high school years. Upon graduation of high school Bo was named President of Nealco. He controlled all operations while going to college half days and nights and purchased the company from his father there after.