Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We used to make things in this country. #16: Weller Electric Corp., Kingston, Ontario

Back in the 1960's, my dad bought me my first soldering gun, a 2.5 amp Weller D-550, that I still have and that still works just fine:





The American company at that time was out of Easton, Pennsylvania but their Canadian plant was in Kingston, Ontario.  Below, from the instruction book that came with my iron:
Over the years, I've picked up two other Kingston-made Wellers.  First, a 1.2 amp Model 8200, still in its original box:







Second, a lovely Weller TCP soldering station I found at a yard sale years ago.  Sadly, it has recently stopped working, but I'm hoping I can repair it in spite of my limited electronic knowledge.




The Weller TCP (Temperature Controlled Process) system was patented by Carl Weller in the 1950's. It makes use of a closed loop system, using a ferromagnetic temperature sensor (Magnastat) within the iron's tip, with no need for external controls or adjustments to maintain tip temperature.  



These older units are generally bulletproof and highly prized by those who work on circuit boards.

From the ad below, they were still making their product in Kingston in the mid-1960's, although I have no idea of exactly where their factory was located.  However, there is a Weller Avenue in Kingston--maybe that was the location.

Popular Science, September 1965
Weller founded his company in 1946.  It was bought by Cooper Industries in 1970, which still uses the brand name.

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