Humans have been mining and machining stainless steel for the past 10 millennia, as evidenced by a copper pendant archaeologists found in northern Iraq that dates back to about 9,000 BCE. Fabrication shops as we know them today began to exist around the Industrial Revolution. when sheet stainless steel was in much higher demand than before. The invention of the hydraulic press, which allowed manufacturers to apply unprecedented pressures to pieces of metal, transformed the stainless steel fabrication industry.
Stainless steel fabrication on a broad scale was necessary to form systems of railroads, telegraph lines, weapons, tools, printing presses and other implements that have been so instrumental in our history. All of these advances relied on machine shops performing joints, cuts, bends and forming operations, just as is done today. The advent of compressed air has made riveting, another important part of fabrication, much easier and more efficient.
With the onset of the 20th century, stainless fabrication has assumed an even larger role in our lives. We now perform machining on grand scales, ranging from small, family-run operations to large manufacturing plants employing thousands of people.
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