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Info on chain making machines


I am trying to do a research paper comparing today’s modern chain
making machines which incorporate laser welding, with the “old” way
of making chain, meaning using a chain machine but then having to
solder the chain in an oven. Problem is that laser welded chain has
so taken over the industry that I can’t seem to get any samples of
the old style chain to compare. Does anybody know where I can get the
old style chain, either solder filled wire or solid wire, oven
soldered. I am specifically looking for platinum chain. Credit will
be given to all participant in my paper.

Also, does anyone know where I can get some history on chain making,
such as who invented the first chain machine and so forth. Web
searches have turned up zippo. Anyones help would be appreciated.

Tino Volpe
Technical Manager
Tiffany & Co.



I just recently purchased two antique chain making machines. One is
for cable chain and the other is for curb chain. These machines are
about 60 years old at least. From what I understand about chain
making machines from this era, they were designed similar to machines
that are from the late 1800’s. Some of these machines are fashioned
after German designs that were then made in areas like Providence,
Rhode Island. These machines certainly are reminiscent of a bygone
era (sigh). I love the ingenuity that went into the design of these
early machines. The Italians have also designed chain making
machines, but I don’t know for sure who made the first ones.

Perhaps the folks at MJSA could help you with some of the history
lesson you seek. Lots of luck and please share your findings with us.

Ken Gastineau
Berea, Kentucky