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The History of Metal Fabrication

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Visit any natural history museum and you’ll see that metals have had an important role in human civilizations for thousands of years. Initially admired for its rarity and beauty, metal was used as decoration, a symbol of elite status in many ancient societies. As people learned more about them and discovered ways to mine and refine ores, metals became the foundation for the bustling, global economy we’re familiar with today.

Historians and scientists dispute the timing of when humans first discovered metal. Iron may have been the first-noticed metal, which could have come to Earth by way of a fallen meteorite. Some think gold emerged first, because it was so often used for jewelry and decoration.

Regardless of where humans got their start with metal, people have been working with a variety of metallic elements for centuries. Early on, metal fabrication was necessary for survival, allowing people to craft the basic tools they needed to secure food and shelter. It soon emerged as a political material, as empires grew and crumbled on the strength of well-crafted swords, armor and other weapons of war.

When you think about it, metal remains crucial to our survival, even though thousands of years have passed since it first enabled humans to be more efficient. Global trade flourished by way of steel cargo ships and metal shipping containers used to transport goods. For years, metal fabrication has been crucial to developing a variety of infrastructure in some of the most important aspects of our communities: transportation, buildings, electronics, machinery.

Metals are so intertwined with our history, it’s practically impossible to imagine a world without them. With the technologies available today — many of which have been made possible by advances in metal fabrication — there are countless components fabricators can deliver to clients. At Mainstay, we specialize in partnering with customers to meet their needs through cutting, forming and welding metal to produce high-quality, custom components designed to last. Metal fabrication has a long legacy as a fundamental society operation, and we’re here to continue expertly serving that need.