AWS -- As time goes by...
 ABOUT AWS: AS TIME GOES BY...
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6

A pictorial history of welding as seen through the pages of the Welding Journal
Page 1 of 6
By Bob Irving and Linda Hart (Welding Journal, June 1994 on the 75th anniversary of AWS)



It has been a long, long while from 1919 to 1994. Despite the wars, one of the most severe market crashes the world has ever seen, the landing of man on the moon, periods of enormous prosperity, the invention of electron and laser beam technologies, and production lines where robots help manufacture millions of automobiles, the welding industry kept rising to the occasion. The Welding Journal covered these times through the editorial leadership of such individuals as Bill Spraragen, Bonney Rossi, Ted Schoonmaker and Jeff Weber. This being the 75th birthday of the American Welding Society, what better time to show you what things looked like during the roaring twenties, the depression years, and WWII - "way back when."

The following photographs come from past issues of the Welding Journal, from 1922 to the present.

Butt welds and sleeve welds were used in the fabrication of Philadelphia Electric Co.'s 2200-ft-long steam line in 1922. Electric welding (shown left) was used on a 33 sleeve welds for the flange joints, while the 92 butt joints were made using oxy-acetylene welding. The entire line consisted of 12-in.-diameter steam line and a 3-in.-diameter water return line. The chemistry of the pipe included 0.0 percent 7 carbon, 0.30 percent manganese, 0.045 percent sulfur, and 0.100 percent phosphorus. The electrodes contained 0.011 percent carbon, 0.032 percent sulfur, and 0.025 percent oxygen.
In the early 1920's the Pressure Vessel Committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers evaluated numerous methods for testing tanks made in the shop. On some tanks, hand hammers were used, as specified in the Code. The blows were struck 3 in. apart and within 2 or 3 in. of the joint at the rate of 50 to 60 per minute. A 12 lb sledge, having a 24 inhandle, was used on some of the tanks. In the end result, it was found that the hammer test was only effective on tanks having exceptionally defective welds.
An early structural design, known as the Ewertz type of electric arc welded vessel, was used to compare the relative costs and strengths of welded vs. riveted shops. This picture, taken in 1924, shows a 400% overload on a Ewertz type of welded vessel. At the time, E.H. Ewertz, the inventor of the design, was president of the American Welding Society.
The sign speaks for itself in this gathering of welding people in 1924. This assemblage was about to board two buses for tours of three facilities in Cleveland. The first was the local utility where they witnessed the oxyacetylene welding of a 16-in.-diameter high-pressure steam line. The next stop was a tour of the Collingswood Shops of the New York Central Railroad. Third on the list was a visit to The Lincoln Electric Co. The editor of the November 1924 journal noted: "This plant is taking its own 'medicine' in that it is using welding wherever possible in the construction of its motors and generators."
In 1929, pipelines were welded using the oxyacetylene process. The necessary cylinders of oxygen and acetylene are shown here being delivered by what could very well have been one of our nation's earliest welding distributors.


Page 1 2 3 4 5 6