Without metalcasting, the world would not be where it is today. Don’t believe me? Check out this timeline of casting development from our archives. And in the spirit of giving thanks, I’d like to take a moment to share some of the things from the metalcasting world I’m thankful for.
- The oldest casting in existence, a frog made in 3200 B.C. Cute is not a word heard often in the metalcasting industry, but I think the frog is a cute reminder of the simplistic artful beauty of castings.
- The first movable cast lead type for printing presses created in the 1400s, which changed communication around the world.
- Manually operated diecasting machines patented in 1849 to supply rapid cast lead type for newspapers. This equipment revolutionized the way information was presented to people, making print accessible so the public could learn and educate themselves.
- The involvement of our founding fathers in the metalcasting industry. In 1750, the English parliament prohibited refining pig iron and casting iron in the colonies. This ban contributed to the American Revolution. The foundrymen were forbidden to do their job and would not back down from British tyrants. So in 1776, of the 56 men that signed the Declaration of Independence, seven (Charles Carroll, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross, Philip Livingston and Stephen Hopkins) were foundrymen. These men signed their names for a cause they believed in, even though it endangered their lives.
- The efforts of Orville and Wilbur Wright engineering the first successful airplane with the help of a 152-lb. cast aluminum crankcase. The casting was a vital part of the airplane, and from this first model the creation of the modern airplane was possible.
- Metalcasting workers who strive to make quality castings. For centuries, they have been doing what they do best and working hard to develop their industry. Their work, ideas and technological advancements will continue to enhance the world we live in.
I hope this timeline reminds you to give thanks to the castings that helped modernize our society.