1928 Arc Welding Machine
Restored Arc Welding Machine at Trane Corp.
Trane Company’s 1st Welding Machine
By Bill Spietz
(Used with permission)
The A.C. transformer type machine was purchased new in 1928 from a company in Belgium. The machine was used for welding such products as the Trane Turbovac. The lever on the front of the machine was used to switch from SOUDAGE (French for arc welding) to DECOUPAGE (arc cutting). Different amperage settings were obtained by connecting the welding cable lug to one of the eight output terminals.
The machine was used for Shielded Metal Arc Welding (commonly referred to as stick welding) and Carbon Arc Welding. The machine is 220 input volts, single phase and requires 100 amp service.
In 1928, the first Trane Company Welder to use the machine was the late Art Shaw (retired in 1973 as a Welding Technician). Art was quoted in a 1949 Trane Triangle article as saying, “We had one arc welding machine, one bottle of acetylene, and one bottle of oxygen. When a bottle ran out, you had to go out and buy some more.”
In the 1940’s, Dan Hanesworth (retired in 1979 as a Welding Technician ) bought the machine as scrap for $10. According to Dan, “The machine was being scrapped because it began blowing fuses. The fuse boxes those days were too small.” After Dan installed a 100 amp service in his shop the machine continued to work just fine until the year 2000 when Dan donated the machine back to Trane Company.
In 2001, the machine was restored to its natural state as described by the late Shaw: “When the welding machine was new it looked like a fine piece of furniture with a polished oak cabinet.”