Skip to content

The History of Forging

The History of Forging

Forging is thousands of years old; one of the oldest processes in metal work! It is the process of heating metal to high temperatures before shaping it as desired using hand tools or, in more modern times, machinery.

The history of forging is one of intrigue; why not explore the origins with us here…

Origins of Forging

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!

What Does Forging Look Like Today?

In today’s society, forging is a big part of the manufacturing industry, being able to comfortably supply a range of parts into an array of different sectors such as automotive, rail, mining, agriculture and more!

Production in forging today still happens on mass, with the techniques of forging having been refined and improved over the years. New materials and processes have allowed for more complex and bespoke designs to be achieved and structural products to be enhanced further to ensure durability, resistance, and strength.

Although less known about and perhaps less seen in society today, blacksmithing is still a valid part of the manufacturing industry. It has a number of more technical advantages when compared to mass production or machined forging. Hand forging (blacksmithing) can ensure that products are made to your bespoke specifications and show the level of detail required.

B. B. Price's History of Forging

B. B. Price was founded in 1875 and has a vast and rich history of forging. Originally working to make nails, the business operated out of a small outhouse. When the 1940’s hit, the business diversified and stepped into specialised galvanized steelworks for overhead powerlines and telecommunications. This still represents a large portion of the businesses production today, although we have been able to expand into a range of other sectors, including Rail, Mining, Agriculture, Defence and more. The history of forging is fascinating and highlights how an age old skill still works today in a very different, modern society.


If you would like to find out more about any of our processes or discuss with our team how we can help you, why not get in touch today. You can call our office and talk to a member of our team or contact us online.