A technique and trade that has existed in society for many years, welding has been around since the Middle Ages. Back when it first originated, the technique was considerably more difficult than it is now, largely due to lack of engineering knowledge and the modern tools that welders today have access to. Since the origination of the trade, it has undergone many different changes and advances. Let’s look at how welding has changed over time.
The earliest techniques used by welders were quite basic, and involved using a hammer and heat. Welders were known as blacksmiths, and a blacksmith’s job involved creating numerous items made from iron, metal and other materials. Since horses were an important form of transport, perhaps one of the most important items made by a blacksmith was the horseshoe.
The 19th Century
The 19th Century brought about a number of exciting advances for welding, mainly due to the discovery of the electric generator. This tool became a must for blacksmiths everywhere, as it made the task of arc lighting possible. This was the century in which welders began to discover the use of carbon and metal arcs, and many blacksmiths began to weld by using gas.
World War I
During the First World War there was a dramatic increase in the need for armory, which provided welders with an abundance of work like never before. Because of this sudden and much increased demand for welders a number of advances were made as tradesmen sought to discover ways in which to complete the job quickly to meet the demands. The electrode was a particularly useful invention during this period, and developments in welding such as flash butt welding, resistance, projection, spot and seam all took place at this time.
With technology rapidly advancing, it is no surprise that this has had an effect on welding. For example, the invention of laser beam welding had a significant impact on how the trade was performed. Advances such as these in technology have not only enabled welders to complete work at a faster rate, it has also helped to simplify tasks such as the creation of welds.
In the present day and age, welding will typically fall into one of two categories; torch welding or arc welding. Arc welding uses electrodes that are attached to a wire, whilst torch welding involves the use of oxyacetylene – a mixture of oxygen and acetylene. Welders today have access to a number of advanced welding tools such as tools for MIG welding, available at Lincoln’s MIG welders store. Although today welding is considerably easier than when the trade first began, it is still a trade that requires years of training, practice, and dedication in order to perfect.
Are you interesting in joining the welding trade? Or, are you an experienced welder looking to learn more about the history of your trade? Whatever you reasons for reading, we’d love to hear your opinions and views in the comments section below.