Thu, 13 April, 2023
2023 marks the hundredth anniversary of the official formation of The Welding Institute (originally known as The Institution of Welding Engineers), but the actual history of this dates back around a year earlier with an inaugural meeting held in 1922.
It was on 26 January 1922 that 20 men gathered together at the Holborn Restaurant in London to discuss the establishment of a new welding society.
This meeting, which was convened by Mr Charles Raggett, saw 16 of the men sign the Memorandum of Association, of whom just seven described themselves as ‘engineers.’ The other nine signatories were mainly drawn from commercial management staff of welding supply manufacturers and merchants – although one was certainly an M.I. Mech.E.
The triumph of this meeting was not just in establishing a new institution, but also in bringing those from acetylene welding together with their competitors from the field of electric welding under one banner.
Proceedings from this inaugural meeting discussed the creation of a “comprehensive welding society” and the decision to form a new society, which gained support from a range of individuals and firms alike.
With a desire that “every welder should have an opportunity for keeping in close touch with the developments of the industry,” it was hoped that those joining would take an active interest in the newly proposed society.
It was also stated that these welders should seek a “certificate of proficiency” and that disseminating information, promoting the industry and training welders was also of importance.
The meeting not only invited those present to become founders, but also noted recognition from the American Welding Society who sent their “cordial good wishes.”
This important meeting then went on to discuss further matters for later consideration before coming to a close.
While small in number, this meeting set the ball rolling for what would become today’s internationally-recognised Institute and you can see a PDF of the proceedings from this inaugural meeting, below… Institute Inaugural Meeting Proceedings - pdf - 1mb
(Proceedings reproduced courtesy Acetylene and Welding Journal)