A pictorial history of welding as seen through the pages of the Welding Journal
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The Nautilus, the first of the United States Navy's fleet of atomic submarines, was launched at the Electric Boat Division shipyard in Groton, Conn., in 1954. Heavily welded from stem to stern, the Nautilus is shown here being christened by first Lady Mamie Eisenhower. Standing by is John Jay Hopkins, chairmand and president of General Dynamics Corporation.
In this 1962 photograph, three electron beam welds are being made simultaneously in a hard-vacuum chamber for the welding of steel and exotic metals for use on the B-70 bomber and supersonic aircraft. The picture was taken at North American Aviation in Los Angeles.
A technician, protected by a pressurized space suit, welds stainless steel pieces with an experimental electron beam gun inside a space chamber at Hamilton Standard Division, United Aircraft Corp. The same conditions one would experience at altitudes of 380,000 ft. were maintained within the chamber.
Welded stainless steel reached a high point in the early 1960's when Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Co. erected the famous St. Louis Arch on the banks of the MIssissippi River. The main metal in this structure is Type 304 stainless steel.
Underwater weld repair had become an interesting business in 1977. Here a welder/diver for the British Oxygen Co. Sub-Ocean Services team, after emerging from the water depths, had to be undressed quickly and brought back to 30 ft. of pressure in a decompression chamber. He had to remain in the chamber for 35 minutes. This was done in order to avoid the crippling "bends."
Certainly the most publicized welding event since World War II had to be the construction of the 798-mile-long Alyeska pipeline, stretching from Prudhoe Bay in the north of Valdez in the south. Already concerned about the effect this pipeline might have on Alaska's wildlife, the enviormentalists were also worried about stories of "thousands of defective welds" in the 48-inch-diameter Alaska pipeline. The welds in question were not defective; they had just not been inspected properly. All told, 2700 tons of weld consumables were required to make the 100,000 welds in this massive project. The shielded manual arc electrode of choice was an E-8010-G filler metal from Thyssen in Germany. The main line pipe was produced in Japanese steel mills.