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Horace J. Shotwell was born on September 15, 1868 in Alexandria, MN.  He had little formal education and learned his trade at a local hardware store.  When he was older, he partnered up with a friend and started his first metalwork business as Canfield & Shotwell in 1893, in Fargo, ND.  Five years later, in 1898, Horace Shotwell bought out Canfield and moved into the South Minneapolis Area.

The company started out by making copper radiators and fenders for cars and trucks.  During World War I, Shotwell's operation doubled almost immediately to what was for 1914-1917 Minnesota standards, considered a large operation. 

By the 1920’s, H.J. Shotwell Company was known as the, "Quality Standard" in the region for automobile parts such as radiators, fenders, hoods and gas tanks for several large automotive companies including Ford and Packard.  Around this time Horace also started to branch out and do "job shop" type work for "new" companies such as Toro, Northwestern Bell, Onan and Twentieth Century, ect.  

The Shotwell's have always had a fascination with the automobile, and there’s an interesting story about our lineage is about Horace's Nephew, Bob Shotwell.  In 1931, Bob designed and built the famous "Philbert -The Puddle Jumper" car. 
Horace told Bob, who was 17 at the time, if he wanted a car bad enough, "he should build one himself", which he did.  Horace and his famous car made national headlines when he drove it from Minnesota to Seattle and then to Alaska and back. 

In the 1990's, Jay Leno purchased the car from Bob, and it is now fully restored and kept in Jay's car collection at the Los Angeles Airport.  We've added a video of Jay talking about the story and some pictures of the car within the history section on our website. 

In 1939, after 47 years of hard work, Horace Shotwell passed away.  After Horaces' passing, the then Bookkeeper, Tom Wallace acquired the company.  Tom presided over the company during countless business swings and international wars and conflicts overseas.  By the time the 1960’s came about, Shotwell had established itself as a major sheet metal fabricator in the Midwest region.

In 1968 the company had to move from Minneapolis.  The whole area behind the Basilica of St. Mary's was to be demolished for the new freeway access area.  Wallace decided to move the company to St. Louis Park.  A few years later in 1973, Arnie Bloomquist acquired the company.  Arnie purchased our current building which is also in St. Louis Park, where he modernized and expanded operations. 

~ For over 122 years, The Shotwell Company has remained modern -and kept one of the best overall reputations for quality metalwork in Minnesota.
Click on this link to read the Popular Mechanics story authored by Jay Leno
H.J. Shotwell Company * 2200 Florida Avenue, So. * St. Louis Park, MN 55426 * 952.591.1336 / 952.591.1279 Fax
www.shotwellsheetmetal.com  quote@shotwellsheetmetal.com