Educational

History of Chain Manufacturing

Chains have been around for centuries and are used in various applications from decorative applications such as retail to heavy industrial use such as marine applications, specifically on ships. In fact, the first metal chain was used as early as 225 BC. When chain was first created, it was primarily used as a way of collecting water.

The very first chains were made in England by blacksmiths. The process developed in this time was used well into the 19th century until it became obsolete. Steel manufacturing and processing problems hindered chain manufacturing growth until this time as well.  Growth was spurred once again once molded chain was invented, further progressing the chain industry. This opened the door for the manufacturing of several different types of chain including steel detachable chain.

After the progress made with chain manufacturing came the development of the steel bushing which “revolutionized steel chain.” After the steel bushing was introduced, chain was often used in automobiles and bicycles. This development fast-tracked the industry and opened the door to new technology.

Currently, PCP has many large machines and processes to create the chain seen in daily life. It is no longer up to a blacksmith to handcraft chain – technology and automation have made the process faster and easier. Additionally, chain is now made of stronger metals, making it more durable. Many of the machines used to manufacture PCP’s chain have lasted the test of time and are just as durable and reliable as they were 100 years ago when they first came into production. For example, our single loop machine celebrated its 100-year anniversary in September 2017.

The most popular chain we manufacture is our weldless single jack chain. Single jack chain is a very versatile chain that can be used in general utility applications such as hanging signs, lighting and other novelties.

Want to learn more about our chain? Check out our Products page.

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