Axel Welin studied at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm from 1879 to 1884. Between 1886 and 1888, Welin worked as a weapons designer for Thorsten Nordenfelt in London. In 1889 he started his own engineering firm, the Welin Davit & Engineering Company Ltd. He soon designed the famed Welin Breech.
However, his main interest was davits. He invented a new and improved davit for lowering boats on board ship, a quadrant davit for double-banked boats which simply became known as the Welin davit. The RMS Titanic was equipped with Welin davits, and after the disaster the demand for his product skyrocketed. He was awarded the John Scott Medal of The Franklin Institute in 1911. He retired a wealthy man in 1932 and returned to Sweden.
- Michael Davie: "The Titanic. The Full Story of a Tragedy", Grafton Books, 1987, p. 103