Advertisement

JOM

, Volume 60, Issue 10, pp 24–34 | Cite as

William Peirce and E.A. Cappelen Smith and their amazing copper converting machine

  • Larry M. Southwick
Pyrometallurgical Processing Overview

Abstract

This is the story of how technology advances allowed the copper industry to realize its full potential. The Peirce-Smith Converting Centennial symposium, to be held at the TMS 2009 Annual Meeting, will celebrate the contributions of two men, William Peirce and E.A.C. Smith, in these advances. However, theirs is representative of a larger story: New, simpler technology releasing the stranglehold of older, more complicated technology, new developments in vessel configuration and design finding alternate routes around dead ends in operability, advances in technique and concepts removing roadblocks of cycle time and capacity, and overall innovation opening up vast new reserves around the world to those companies willing to embrace those improvements. Our story is also one of personalities, stubborn smeltermen versus the innovators, those inside the industry versus those from outside. It is a story of an initial borrowing from the steel industry, but also Peirce and Smith, from the refining end of the copper business, taking the ideas of Baggaley from Pittsburgh’s steel and air-brake industry, who built on what Hollway, Manhès and David, Douglas, and others had done in smelter tests, further to compete with the previous primacy and closely held expertise of the copper smeltermen in Wales. The photos presented illustrate these innovations.

Keywords

Blast Furnace Magnesite Great Fall Blister Copper Reverberatory Furnace 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    H.R. Schubert, “The Steel Industry”, A History of Technology, Vol. 5, ed. E.J. Holmyard, A.R. Hall, and W.I. Williams (New York: Oxford University Press, 1958), pp. 53–57.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    James Douglas, “Treatment of Copper Mattes in the Bessemer Converter”, Trans. IMM, 8 (1989–1900), pp. 2–48.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    L.M. Southwick, “Revising Copper Converter History: A Metallurgical ‘Whodunit’,” Copper 99, Vol. V—Smelting Operation and Advances, ed. D.B. George et al. (Warrendale, PA: TMS, 1999), pp. 371–397 (and references therein).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    H.O. Hofman, Metallurgy of Copper, First Edition (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1914), pp. 298–353.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    C. Schnabel, Handbook of Metallurgy, Vol. 1, Copper-Lead-Silver-Gold, translated by H. Louis (London: Macmillan and co., Ltd., 1905), pp. 214–234.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    W. Borchers and B. Franke, Kupfer (Halle, Germany: Willem Knapp, 1915), pp. 224–243.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    L.S. Austin, “The Washoe Plant of the Anaconda Copper-Mining Co. in 1905”, Transactions AIME, vol. 37 (New York: A.I.M.E., 1906), pp. 431–485.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    C.B. Hodges, “An Industrial Compressed-air Railway,” Cassier’s Magazine, vol. 28 (1905), pp. 466–478.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    “The Manhès Copper Converter Patent”, Engineering and Mining Journal (February 14, 1903), p. 267.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    R.M. Baggaley, “Story of the New Process and its Application”, Anaconda Standard (August 13, 1905), p. 14.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    World Museum of Mining, negative #02747 (Butte, Montana).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    World Museum of Mining, negative #02746 (Butte, Montana).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    “The Original Peirce-Smith Converter”, Engineering and Mining Journal (April 4, 1914), pp. 718–720.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    “Progress of Basic Converting”, Engineering & Mining Journal (March 3, 1912), p. 408.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    A.W.G. Wilson, The Copper Smelting Industries of Canada, Canada Department of Mines, Ottawa, and Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR (1913).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    “The Annual Dinner”, Mining and Metallurgy, 12 (1931), pp. 134–136.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    “Medal for Chyquicamata Metallurgy”, Mining and Metallurgy (December 1920), pp. 25–26.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© TMS 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations