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Brief History of the Soldering Iron and Soldering Gun
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Soldering irons have been around for over 4,000 years. Up until the late 1800s they were all heated by open flame or burning coals.

The American Electrical Heater Company of Detroit Michigan begins manufacturing electric soldering irons. Shortly after the American Beauty® line of soldering irons appears.

Ernst Sachs (Germany) claims to have developed the first electric soldering iron for industry (see note below) and ERSA begins commercial production of a 200 watt electric soldering iron. [More Details]

Note: I have found an advertisement from 1898 in a issue of "The Electrical Engineer" Vol. XXIV showing a drawing and description of the American Electrical Heater Company's electric soldering iron which pre dates Ernst Sachs electric soldering iron by 23 years.
I also have an early electric soldering iron manufactured by GE with patent dates eariler than 1921.

In December of 1926 William Alferink files for a U.S. patent for a "Combined Holder and Automatic Circuit Breaker for Electric Soldering Irons" (first soldering station?). On July third, 1928 the patent is granted.

Carl E. Weller is granted a patent for his instant heat soldering gun and starts production as the Weller Manufacturing Company in Easton Pennsylvania where he manufactures the first "Speedy Iron" instant heat soldering gun.

The American Beauty "Temperature Regulating Stands" are sold to control the temperature of electric soldering irons.

WEN Products is founded and manufacturers their own instant heat soldering iron.

Weller sues WEN Products over soldering gun patent infringement.
Court finds in Weller's favor. [More Details]

Weller is granted a patent for the "Magnastat" soldering iron which controls the iron's temperature through the use of a temperature sensitive magnetic tip.

Weller begins manufacturing it's W-TCP soldering station with a "Magnastat" iron.

Weller Manufacturing Company is sold to Cooper Industries.


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