MIG Welding History – Historical Perspectives on Metal Fusion Innovations

Updated: 22 Nov 2023


Mig welding is considered a pillar of welding and the main reason for fast-growing and unique infrastructure. Embark on exploring MIG welding history, which will take us through its scientific breakthroughs and evolutions.

The chronological narrative of MIG’s history unfolds how it archives different millstones in the past. The MIG welding faces and accepts different changes and advancements through different times. It also provides its proper support to different people in different eras, whether it is destruction or construction.

Understanding the History of the MIG technique not only tells us its insights but also points to the technological innovations that shape the welding process we use today. We can only appreciate something when we know its basic History.

After talking to historians, we made a complete guide on the History of MIG welding, so let’s get to it.

MIG Welding History: Let’s Dive Inside:

MIG welding, also known as Gas Metal Arc Welding, has a rich history of advancements and evolution through different eras. The history of gas metal arc welding is divided into a couple of eras and times, briefly discussed in the article below.

The Beginning of Welding:

The joining of two metals and turning them into one is an ancient process. The first ever evidence of basic welding traces back to almost the beginning of time. The earliest evidence that historians found is from the bronze age, about 2000 years ago.

The welding at that time was simple and easy but not for them. They weld two metals together just by melting them together. They first heat the ends of the metal which they want to join and then connect them by applying pressure.

The great Egyptians first used the art of welding. They first used the welding process with gold, but as time passed, they moved from gold to bronze, copper, silver, iron, etc. Then, from the Egyptians, the art of welding was learned by many people, spread to different civilizations, and started a whole new welding adventure.

Precursors of MIG Welding:

MIG welding is not an essential part of human History and wasn’t as efficient as today. The precursors of the MIG technique were traditional welding, such as forge welding, which was very slow, and only an expert blacksmith could do it with extensive craftsmanship.

Those processes had a lot of limitations in terms of metals they could join. It also needs to be more durable and work sometimes, which is a bummer. Many changes are made to those processes as time passes, and those changes give birth to new welding processes.

The Birth of MIG Welding:

History of MIG Welding, Arc Cross Section
Arc Cross Section
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The welding has been through many changes through its elevation, which also modified it and gave birth to many different processes, including MIG welding. In the early 19th century, an inventor by the name of Humphry Davy invented an Electric arc (Arc Cross Section), which was the actual beginning of MIG welding.

Later, in 1920, another improved version of MIG was invented, which is almost the same as modern MIG welding, but it can’t use shielding gas. Instead of a welding gun, it uses bare electrodes that work on direct current with a high arc voltage. P.O Nobel invented this whole process in the company General Electric.

Later, in 1927, two company workers, Wunder and Langstroth from the company A.O Smith, improved this process by adding coated electrodes to it but not shielding gas. Different companies and people improved the process in their possible way until Alexander and Langmuir introduced hydrogen as a welding atmosphere.

Somewhere else, P.K. Devers and H.M. Hobart worked on the same process but made a few improvements and adjustments by changing its shielding gas from hydrogen into argon and helium. They were also the first ones to add welding guns into the process.

MIG Welding Becoming Stable:

mig welding technique
MIG Welding System
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Since the beginning of GMAW’s history in the early 19th century, it has been through many changes. Many people have worked in its field from its beginning and are still working to this day. The basic MIG welding that we know today was developed in the 1940s from the idea and concept of P.K Devers.

A company by the name of Battle Memorial Institute utilized the Deveros idea. It developed a stable GMAW process, the first of its kind that uses continuous electrode wire.

Later 1948, a Ukrainian Engineer patented the MIG welding process for copper electrodes. Soon after, an American company named National Tube Company obtained a patent for using Carbon dioxide as shielding gas in MIG welding. The early Mig welding with CO2 is stable but could be better and has some limitations like spatter and porosity in its welding.

MIG Welding During and after World War II:

During World War II, the MIG welding made a very effective impact by its efficiency and speed. It was used for manufacturing vehicles, aircraft, and weapons etc. MIG welding played an essential job in World War 2 by speeding up all production by doubling and doing all the rapid accessibly.

During World War 2, the focus shifted to production instead of improving MIG welding. They wanted to speed up military equipment manufacturing, where MIG welding of that time became very helpful.

After the war ended, old MIG welders focused on infrastructure and improving its process. The commercial potential of MIG’s history then becomes evident. Most of the construction industries adopted this new technology, which was costly but faster and effective in better production.

Later, in 1953, two welders by the name of Novshilov and Lyubavskii introduced carbon dioxide as shielding gas. This was a significant achievement at the time because CO2 was cheaper than its predecessor and economically suitable for most welds.

Modern MIG Welding:

what is mig welding
MIG Welding Diagram
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The modern MIG welding that most of the welding uses today was first invented or introduced in 1949, and It has the same setup as we use today but was in its initial stages. Modern MIG welding changed and adapted with time, becoming one of the most advanced and easy welding processes.

After that, MIG welding came with different variations and changes; in 1960, a unique variation of MIG welding, which is nowadays known as pulse welding, was introduced to the market. It used two pulses for its welding; one is high, and another one is low.

Later, in 1959, two similar processes were introduced, which had an almost simpler approach to welding. Both use similar electrodes, which are hollow and have a flux agent with them. One is called Dualshield, and the other is called innershield.

The dual shield was different from the inner shield because the dual shield used dual shield gas. One is from an external source, while the other one forms flux in the core of arc shielding. At the same time, the inner shield doesn’t use any external shielding gas.

During the 1970s, power source technology was introduced to MIG welding, which greatly impacted both GMAW and GMAW-P. This happened with the help of the Welding Institute of the United Kingdom.

Later, in the mid-1990s, an American company, Lincoln Electric Company, developed welding power source technology and designed a wide range of power source platforms, meaning software control circuits. That software developed program provides a proper array of synergic and non-synergic optimization for all of the well-known welding processes, like GMAW, FCAW, GTAW, SMAW, and CAC-A.

MIG welding is changing to this day, and new advancements and variations are still coming and yet to be discovered. Its Wire is changing, and its shielding gas is adapting to different elements; in fact, the whole MIG welding process is changing as compared to its predecessor.

Challenges for Future MIG Welding:

Over the past couple of decades, MIG welding has significantly changed and has technological advancements, like the Pulsed MIG welding process, etc. The Process of MIG welding is actually becoming versatile and efficient.

Despite its huge success and popularity, MIG welding still faces new challenges, for example, ensuring high-quality welds and reducing sentimental impacts. Like other technologies, we can anticipate further development in MIG welding, including improved automation and smarter welding processes.


When was Mig Welding Invented?

MIG welding was invented in the early 19th century but patented in 1949. It has the primary function of welding through the arc into the target area in the presence of helium gas.

What is MIG Welding called now?

The MIG welding abbreviation is Metal Inert Gas welding, which is mainly called Metal arc welding, short for GMAW. It also sometimes refers to Metal Active gas.

What was the first Weld in History?

The first welding in History was fusing metal, though welding dates back to 3000 B.C. This was from the bronze age. The evidence found for welding is from 2000 B.C., which was welding golden boxes.

What is the Full name of MIG Welding?

Its full name is Metal Inert gas, and it also has a technical name, which is Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW).


Mostly, History is rich with many turning points, and just like that, MIG welding history also possesses necessary factors and turning points. From early Welding birth to the crucial time of World War 2, the MIG welding came a long way.

I hope you understand its basic History, but if you still have any questions, let me know in the comment section.

Abu Bakar

Abu Bakar

Hello, Abu Bakar here, the Mastermind Behind Welding Villa. Test my years of experience through my well-written blogs, where I have covered the overall experience of welding materials and shown all the aspects of Welding, their types and equipment.

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