Ted Nelson – Stud Welder / Anne Clare, Book Review

Ted Nelson

Eighty years ago, many rural homes weren’t electrified, nor did they have indoor plumbing.  Glenn Miller and Billie Holiday were at the top of the charts. A brand-spanking-new car could be yours for well under $1,000. And the state-of-the-art battleships — whole floating cities unto themselves — were that era’s equivalent of the Space Shuttle. While working at Mare Island Naval Shipyard Ted Nelson had his big idea. And what an idea! Ultimately, Nelson’s advancement helped save the Navy so many man-hours that he earned top-of-the-line commendations and set in motion a legacy of excellence that remains on the leading edge of the industry to this very day.

Mare Island Shipyard, WWII

The Mare Island Naval Shipyard, where Nelson worked in the years leading up to and during World War II, was the Navy’s first base on the Pacific Coast, located just north of San Francisco and now a California Historical Landmark. In its day it was the United States’ controlling force in the area’s shipbuilding efforts – at least 89 seagoing vessels were constructed onsite before its closure. During its World War II years, the Mare yard specialized in submarines, making it something of a hotbed of innovation, and young Ted Nelson, working on both repairs and new construction, fit right in.

“Prior to World War II, the Navy was attaching wood decking on many vessels using through-bolting,’” says John von der Lieth, Senior Nelson Stud Welding Field Sales Representative at Stanley Engineered Fastening. “This often required many levels of scaffolding underneath the wood deck just to install nuts onto threaded bolts attaching the wood to the steel frame below. The nuts were often also then tack-welded to prevent them from vibrating loose.”

“Well, Ted was a real inventor type, and he devised a handheld arc welding gun that looked kind of like a drill press. He would insert a threaded stud into the gun and place that down into a pre-drilled hole in the wood decking, making contact with the steel frame of the vessel below. The stud gun was connected to an arc-welding power source and a timing control device. When triggered, the stud gun coil would energize, lifting the stud off the steel frame just enough to establish an electric arc. Within a split second, the stud was melted (along with the steel base metal) and then was plunged home into the molten pool, establishing a complete joint penetration weld, and all of this was taking place from the topside of the wood decking.”

“The ‘Nelson Stud Welding Process thus eliminated the need for the vast scaffolding below the wood decks, dramatically reducing the time involved to install the decking, and producing a superior quality, full penetration welded connection. Ted also produced a special flanged nut to securely fasten the top side of the wood planks onto the studs, filling the pre-drilled, countersunk holes that were created to install the threaded studs. This also allowed for much easier replacement of any future damaged wood decking,” explained von der Lieth. “It changed the face of the war effort.”

Ted nelson ‘E’ citation

So, with his ingenuity and strong desire to solve a problem, Ted Nelson saved the Navy an estimated 50 million man-hours and the Nelson Specialty Welding Equipment Corp. was awarded two Navy “E” Citations, presented only to companies who met outstanding production criteria during the war effort. Not only did production numbers climb, the stud welding process also saved an unparalleled amount of money with respect to the foregone need for scaffolding, as well as labor and materials cost.

Ted Nelson’s invention was right on time. “The Nelson welding guns, studs, and nuts were used to install wood decking on submarines, battleships, and aircraft carriers. The patent for the decking gun was filed May 31, 1941,” says Clark Champney, Nelson Stud Welding Application Development Manager, and resident Nelson historian at Stanley Engineered Fastening. “Six months and one week later on December 8, 1941, the United Stated entered World War II.”

After the war, Nelson took his invention private, setting up shop in a coastal California garage in Nelson Stud Welding’s first incarnation. “Ted Nelson had the mind-set early on that his invention could be used in a wide variety of industries – he had a real vision,” says von der Lieth. “Although he hadn’t been a part of the company for many years at the time of his death in the 1990s, he was still a very active inventor into his 80s – he’d invented a hospital bed that rotated 360 degrees for hip replacement patients. He invented a glider that had an emergency engine in it – they called it the Hummingbird. He had countless minor inventions, and that’s why he ultimately sold the stud welding business – because he was an inventor type; problem-solving was his first love.”

Story idea from: Koji Kanemoto

Click on images to enlarge.

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Book Review – “Whom Shall I Fear?”  by: Anne Clare, our Naptime Author

“Whom Shall I Fear?, by Anne Clare

Without giving readers too much insight and being the cause of stumbling into a spoiler, I shall begin this review by applauding Anne Clare, who has researched her way into creating a lovely romantic tale intertwined with the struggles and pains of war.
Amid the years of WWII bombings, the loss, deprivations and combat, two very different people are seemingly thrown together. Their worries, dreams and realities are shown to you through their correspondence. BUT – behind it all lurks the sinister aspirations of a narcissistic coward and his cohorts.
I found myself thinking about the story long after putting the book down – and to me, that is one major characteristic of an excellent novel.
Thank you, Anne, for granting me the privilege of owning a copy of your creation and for giving me the lingering question in my mind of – who should they have feared the most?
I highly recommend “Whom Shall I Fear?” to all.

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Military Humor – 

“These aren’t barnacles. Someone stuck their gum down here.”

Shipbuilding Safety Award – or – Why women live longer than men.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Charles Atkinson – Arvada, CO; US Army, Vietnam, Military Police

Eugene Barbezat – St. Johns. AZ; US Army / US Air Force, Vietnam, Lt. Col. (Ret.), Intelligence

Tom Curtsinger – KY; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Warren Eginton – Brooklyn, NY; US Army, WWII, PTO, 716th Tank Battalion

Donald Love – Hamilton, NZ; British Merchant Navy, # R258982. WWII

Lynn McDonald – Rochester, NH; US Army Air Corps, glider pilot

Leon “Jack” Persac Jr. – Baton Rouge, LA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-17 ball turret gunner

Robert D. Sullivan – Fairbury, NE; US Army, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Lt. Colonel (Ret. 27 y.)

Homer Terry – Tahoka, TX; US Air Force, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, pilot/logistics, Colonel (Ret. 32 y.)

Channing R. Whitaker – Granger, IA; USMC, WWII, PTO, Pvt., Co. A/1/6th Marines, KIA (Tarawa)

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on October 28, 2019, in Book Reviews, Home Front, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 105 Comments.

  1. Ted Nelson de naam zei me niets maar dank voor de informatie. Wat een fantastisch man die zoveel uitvindingen op zijn naam schreef en zoals je zegt dat waren probleemoplossers waar we nu zoveel te kort aan hebben.Hij was een genie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Die generatie had geen internet om naar toe te gaan. Ze waren gewend om te gaan zitten en een probleem door te denken tot ze hun antwoord hadden gevonden. Het spijt me dat veel mensen dat vermogen hebben verloren.

      Like

  2. Wow! How clever! I could not help but be reminded how many of those who worked faithfully at Navy yards suffered the long-term effects of asbestos exposure. I was involved w/ asbestos litigation during my career as a lawyer, so met some of those unsung heroes firsthand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. He was a genius with all his innovations and inventions. I love these stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That was a great post mate, well done on that great piece of history, fascinating really, historical story on a great inventor, enjoyed reading immensely.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dad would talk about the dark arts that went into the latest tanks and ships – even in ww2.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A fascinating article! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Never thought of battle ships as being the equivalent to the space shuttle. What a difference in perception a few generations can make! Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ted Nelson sounded like a man ahead of his time. I was pleased that you included some of his later inventions as well. Does he have a biography written about him somewhere? It would be eye-opening I imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We need more Ted Nelson type problem solvers! Thanks for the book review. Knowing that the book stayed with you after you read it convinced me to download the Kindle version.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love you, you know and am not complaining But why do your post accidently get posted on my blog, OR am I reading it WRONG?I wish you lovely fresh days and enjoy as much as is available.

    Please do not become offended in any way because I am just needingg a pat on the back, I guess.

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m afraid Sheila I do not know what you mean. I always visit your site and read the posts about Mornings with Melissa. I like the posts but I hope you’re not expecting me to critique them. I am the farthest thing away from a professional writer and would have more trouble with critiques than I have with book reviews. Please explain, I hope I am not offending you in any way.

      Like

  11. Thank you for this very interesting story, GP! The review is funtastic too. My first knowledge about Ted Nelson, but great information. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The inventor and that good old, “Can Do” ethic of America is one of the things that made this country great. In this age of “mass produce and throw away,” we have lost some of that incentive to invent in many areas.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pure genius! As has been said in the comments following the post, that generation actually solved problems, like many, my father did the same he built lathes and tools to do the job he wanted them to do. What he couldn’t do with a Washing machine motor wasn’t worth doing. When clearing his house we found all his technical drawings, with precise measures, he used to create his tools – and they worked brilliantly!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Not only invented a process but refined it…a top chap!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Sounds like Ted was a real smart cookie

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Ted Nelson saw a problem and found a solution. It’s how brilliant mind works. Perfect timing too. Great review for Anne Clare’s novel! Love the cartoons!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Wow- Ted Nelson’s invention really did have impeccable timing, didn’t it? What a great story of innovation- problem solvers like him amaze me.
    Thanks so much for the kind book review, GP. Again- SO glad that you enjoyed the book! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Fascinating. Perhaps journey was more important to him than the arrival – so he kept on inventing.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I went to an Army museum and took lots of pictures. I will send you some when I get a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. A great story about Nelson, GP. The review of Whom Shall I Fear is compelling. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I hadn’t heard about this guy and his invention. That’s a lot of manhours saved. probably mroe than enough to turn out a few more carriers back then.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Great story. Finally, a man who truly could have bragged about being a stud welder. 🙂 Interesting book review–maybe this could be a second blog if you ever run out of ideas for this one.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. What a clever idea. It sounds so obvious yet it sure wasn’t. Thanks, Anne and GP, for the article.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As you know from my review of “24 Hours”, which I still think about, I really don’t know the proper procedure for writing reviews. To you, it seems so natural.

      Like

  24. So often we erect statues to generals and other high ranking military types when wars are won by people like Ted Nelson who really make a difference to the outcome of the war. The situation reminds me a little of Józef Kosacki. What did he do? Well, he invented the mine detector !

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Must be great to have a problem solving invention kinda brain!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. As always, a good share in naval history. Thank you and have a great week ahead😃

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I am always amazed at the ingenuity of those who dream up new ways of doing things.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Cancel that, just found it. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Can’t seem to find the book on Amazon UK, GP.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. What a great story of that ‘inventive spirit’, GP. And the timing was perfect too. You couldn’t make that up.
    Thanks for the book review, I am checking that out now.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. I can’t get enough of stories such as Ted Nelson’s.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. What a great story. I love learning about stuff like this. Creative people have saved the world so much time and made so many things possible. While most people would simply grumble and carry on with the status quo, people like Ted think “there must be a way to make this easier.” I worked in a machine shop where the head machinist had built some of the major machines from scratch. They were unusual, but they worked perfectly and saved so much time.

    Thanks for the tip on the book!

    Liked by 2 people

  33. GP, a terrific review of what sounds like an excellent book. I totally agree, it’s the books that stay with you long after you’ve finished reading them that are truly outstanding. I’m going to take a closer look at ‘Whom Shall I Fear?’

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Fabulous story about Ted Nelson! In its day, Mare Island was a beehive of activity for the Navy, even well after WWII. Many civilian small industries now occupy the buildings once occupied by the Navy. • I’m going to “borrow” your Why Women Live Longer Than Men item for the upcoming Friday Funnies. I will give you a “hat tip” and link back to this post. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  35. I too loved Anne Clare’s novel “Whom Shall I Fear?” What a delightful love story woven into World War Ii history plus a sinister family mystery–from a British point of view. The settings and characters are compelling.

    (Anne became a beta reader for my “Leora’s Letters,” due out in another month.

    Liked by 5 people

  36. Thank you very much for such kind words, Anne. Your book is now on the shelf with other signed editions – that shelf is a special place for me!!

    Like

  1. Pingback: November’s “NaNoWriMo” Challenge, and Why I’m Likely Going to be Wearing a Silly Costume in December

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