W. Manufacturing Co., Inc.'s founder, Walter Lesche, immigrated
from Germany to the United States of America in 1952 where he worked
in the welding and machine shop of the world's first frozen food
processing plant. While working there he began establishing
himself in the local agricultural/horticultural community as an
innovative problem solver. This reputation followed him when
he began his own business, Walt's Welding, out of his garage in
the mid-l950’s. It was here and in future years, working
closely together with growers, that the seeds of many of his later
innovations and inventions took root.
l964, Walt’s Welding moved to its current location and later
became known as W. W. Manufacturing Company, Inc. In the late
l970’s, Walter began development of a spade with a replaceable
blade and non-breakable all-steel handle, which he later patented.
This is the KSC-S, the spade with the connector handle and the replaceable
blade; “replace the blade, not the spade.” This
spade was unique in that it came with an unconditional five-year
guarantee against breakage. The production of this spade led
to the development of over two dozen other spades and shovels in
what came to be known as the “The King of Spades” product
line. In the late 1980's Walter introduced the Dura Rake™,
an all-steel, welded garden rake made from aircraft alloy steel
for lightness and heat treated for strength and durability.
As with the spade, the rake was also field tested with local nurserymen
W. Manufacturing Co., Inc. is the sole manufacturer of products
with the registered trademark “Lesche” and “King
of Spades.” In addition to spades, the complete product
line has grown to almost one hundred different items such as shovels,
rakes, nursery carts, custom tracking trailers and other tools for
the horticultural and landscape industries. There is also a specialty
line of digging tools for the hobbyist. In effect, then, W.
W. Mfg. Co. today is a perfect example of the traditional
American immigrant legend: Walter Lesche came to the USA penniless,
unfamiliar with the English language, but through hard work and
ingenuity created and sustained an ever-growing business that contributes
to American know-how for individuals and in the gardening
and landscaping profession.
Walter's death in 2002, his family has taken up the mantle to continue
the standards of excellence he established during his lifetime.