It is speculated that the process of forging dates back as far as the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. They used the process of forging to create their tools and weapons using the metals they had to hand. These metals included copper, bronze, and iron more often than not. As brighter and more colourful metals, these may also have been used to create architectural or decorative objects for the home.
As copper and bronze are softer metals, they lacked the strength and durability that is now often seen in forged products. Although this is now known as the mechanical process that takes place during forging, in the early days of forging, they had to develop techniques like tempering and quenching in order to help improve the strength overall.
As forging moved with the times, the Middle Ages saw the birth of blacksmithing as a more common type of work. Blacksmiths are highly skilled forgers, known more often as artisans. They were able to create horseshoes, nails, and weapons of all kinds with their skills, working to do this with a range of different metals: iron, steel, or brass. Some of the techniques they used include riveting and welding, techniques that are still used today!
The Industrial Revolution in 1760 saw major changes for forging. Presses and Steam Hammers were machines developed to aid in the process of forging, bringing about faster processes and a more efficient production of goods overall. Mass production became more popular, and more products began to come from the process of forging, including hardware, tools and even cutlery!