AWS -- As time goes by...
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A pictorial history of welding as seen through the pages of the Welding Journal
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At the annual convention of the American Institute of Steel Construction in 1930, an automatic welding machine was demonstrated which had been designed originally for "battledeck" steel construction. At the time, it was inferred that such equipment could also be used effectively in the fabrication of floors in building construction. (Left)
Welding took to the stage at the AWS 1933 national fall meeting in Detroit with the presentation of a four-act play, The Prosperrity Process. Sponsored jointly by AWS and the International Acetylene Association, this industrial drama drew 1,600 attendees. One critic described the play as "stirring." In one scene, which took place in a weld shop, a complete demonstration of welding, cutting and weld testing was given on "stage right."
Back in the old days, a fierce competition developed between the manufacturers and vendors of electric arc and oxyacetylene welding equipment. Here we have welds bent to elongations of 30%. The two specimens on the left were made by oxyacetylene welding, while the specimens on the right represent electric arc welds.
Regarded as a "first" at the time, three 10,000-ton cargo ships were launched simultaneously at Todd Shipbuilding Corp., South Portland, ME, in 1942. W.H. Hobart, vice president of Hobart Brothers Co., attributed the feat to three things. First, the steels did not have to be overlapped as they are when riveting is used, thus saving a great deal of steel. Second, he said, new welders could be trained much faster than new riveters. And third, welding lends itself more readily to production line assembly.
During World War II, American indusry covered numerous fronts. Here, welding is busy at work on a mass production line to make LeTourneau Carryall scrapers.
During the post-World War II years, all of the large factories had converted from defense to commercial products once again. Here two men with gun welding machines at the Fisher Body Division of General Motors in Detroit weld the component parts into a strong, shock-resisting body.

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