This union was founded by John Kane in 1862 as the Amalgamated Malleable Ironworkers. In 1868 it adopted a new constitution and 'of Great Britain' was added to its name. Initially its membership had been drawn mainly from the north of England, but by 1873, when its membership peaked at 35,000, it was also represented in north and south Staffordshire, Wales and Scotland. Its members were predominantly puddlers, and although it offered membership to steel workers in the 1880s, these were mainly confined to millmen. Its membership had declined to below 1,200 by 1884.
Arthur Marsh and Victoria Ryan, in their 'Historical Directory of Trade Unions' (volume 2, page 271) state that in 1887 the AMIGB was wound up and replaced by the Associated Iron and Steel Workers of Great Britain. But the June 1891 edition of 'The Ironworkers' Journal' (in MSS.36/AMI/5) reports the dissolution in the previous month of 'the National Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers' which had been established 'in 1862 by the late Mr John Kane'. It had been decided not to dissolve the old association until the new one [the Associated Iron and Steel Workers of Great Britain] had become firmly established. This edition of the 'Journal' is the first not to have its place of publication described as the office of the Amalgamated Malleable Ironworkers of Great Britain in Darlington.