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Tool time Tuesday and today we’re doing a little welding. Over the weekend I had my son, Mason, do a bit of welding on my 37 year old tractor. Got me to thinking about the origins of welding. Welding has been around since the iron and bronze ages, although that was forge welding, not welding the way we think of it today. No single person takes credit for the invention of modern welding. Some of the earliest inroads toward traditional welding came about as early as 1800. In that year, Sir Humphry Davy produced the first electric arc between two carbon electrodes through the use of a battery. In 1836, Edmund Davy discovered acetylene. But the process we recognize as welding today didn’t arise until 1881. It started with Auguste de Méritens, who used arc heat to join lead plates together. His Russian student, Nikolai Benardos, then patented a method of electric arc welding with carbon rods. After that, Nikolai Slavynov figured out how to use metal electrodes for welding. Then C.L. Coffin, an American engineer, discovered an arc welding process using a coated metal electrode that became the precursor of shielded metal arc welding.