Rivet Gun

Rivet Gun

Usage conditions apply
This small pneumatic rivet gun was made by Ingersoll Rand during the 1950s. Rivet guns like this one were pneumatically powered by the shop’s compressed air system. and used in locomotive work for smaller rivets and for sealing boiler tube using the "shaping" swage (the swage is the small tool inserted into the business end of the gun, so that the gun can do its work). This gun was also used in welding work, often with a cutting swage to break old welds in thin steel. Additionally, a variety of different "swages" could be used to hammer home rivets with different shaped heads, to cut pieces from thin steel sheets (with a cutting swage, like a fast moving chisel), or to shape the ends of tubes and flues on the inside of boilers ("curling" the ends of tubes with a shaping swage).
Part of a small array of hand tools displayed in "America On The Move" - such tools were used in the inspection and repair of steam locomotives. Light repairs on steam locomotives were usually done in roundhouses at the many small locomotive terminals throughout a railroad's system; heavy repairs were done in a large, centralized repair shop serving the whole system (often referred to as the "Back Shop").
Object Name
Rivet Gun, Welding Equipment
date made
used date
Ingersoll Rand
Associated Place
United States: Maryland, Silver Spring
overall: 14 in x 7 in x 3 in; 35.56 cm x 17.78 cm x 7.62 cm
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Culp Welding and Machine Co. Silver Spring, MD
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
America on the Move
America On The Move
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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