AGA is one of the well-known Swedish “genius companies” – companies that used unique technological inventions to grow to become world wide.
AGA’s roots date back to 1904 and are based on the technically ingenious inventions of one man – Gustaf Dalén - who was not only one of Sweden’s most important Nobel Laureates, but also the only Laureate to create an industrial group.
The AGA industrial company (Aktiebolaget Gasaccumulator) was founded in 1904. Initially AGA mainly focused on acetylene gas for railway lighting. Soon the company employed inventive genius Gustaf Dalén as chief engineer and workshop manager whose inventions enabled AGA to grow rapidly. It was the company’s inventions within lighthouse technology - the flashing beacon in 1905, the AGA compound in 1906, the sun valve and Dalén mixer in 1907 - which were to dictate the company's future.
By 1909 Dalén was president for the company. 1912 Gustaf Dalén was badly injured in an explosion which left him blind for life. He was still convalescing when the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences awarded him the Nobel Prize in Physics for his “inventions of self-operating regulators, which in combination with gas accumulators can be used to light lighthouses and light buoys." He never regained his sight but he remained as the company's president for another 25 years, until his death 1937.
During the late 1960s AGA began to concentrate on the gas sector. Since 2000 AGA is part of the Linde Group, a world-leading gases and engineering company with almost 48,000 employees in around 100 countries.
AGA History - A welding pioneer in Sweden
In 1902 Gustaf Dalén demonstrated welding using acetylene and oxygen for the first time in Sweden at the Finnboda shipyard. In 1910 AGA carried out extensive trials using steel welding wire. In 1924 AGA designed an orbital welding machine which could weld up to 15 radiators simultaneously. Today, AGA continues to play a major role in the development of welding and cutting industrial techniques.
The company has been providing training in gas welding at its Swedish workshops for many years. Even by 1937, when the training was transferred to an engineering school with 36 students, AGA had already taught around 1,500 welding students.