Download We Called it MAG-nificent: Dow Chemical and Magnesium, by E. N. Brandt PDF

By E. N. Brandt

During international conflict I, in 1916, Herbert Dow, founding father of The Dow Chemical corporation, bought information of “star shells,” guns that glowed eerily as they descended over the trenches of the enemy, making them more straightforward to assault. The serious part in those flares was once magnesium, a steel that was once unexpectedly in nice call for. Dow, besides a half-dozen different U.S. organisations, quickly begun production magnesium, yet through 1927 Dow was once the one U.S. corporation nonetheless within the enterprise. Dow’s key innovation was once a style of extracting the steel from seawater, an engineering accomplishment ultimately completed at Freeport, Texas, simply 11 months sooner than the Pearl Harbor assault. Dow was once the central provider of magnesium for U.S. and British planes in the course of international struggle II, a contrast that mockingly yielded an indictment from the U.S. govt on monopoly fees. the corporate ultimately grew to become the world’s greatest producer of magnesium until eventually 1990, while the chinese language entered the industry and provided the steel at rock-bottom costs. Dow quietly ended its creation of magnesium in 1998. Brandt’s historical past is a fascinating examine Dow’s eighty-three-year romance with this extraordinary metal.

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Extra info for We Called it MAG-nificent: Dow Chemical and Magnesium, 1916-1998

Sample text

I do not mean this in an offensive manner,” he would say. “You really need someone to tell you, however, and I think I have. Back of it all is the desire to see you have the success with this wonderful metal that you should have. ”9 Jenkins did make at least one useful contribution during his time at Dow. This was his notion that piston rings could and should also be made of magnesium. 10 Dow, in a letter to Keller after a meeting with Glenn Martin, the pioneer aircraft manufacturer, in which they discussed putting Dowmetal pistons in aircraft, was uncharacteristically glum about Dowmetal’s prospects.

S. automobile (or other) business, it could swoop in—and occasionally did swoop in—and capture a juicy contract with a low bid. 12 At the 1922 annual meeting of Dow shareholders, held as usual in Midland, Herbert Dow asked a couple of the younger executives in the company to talk about some of the bright Dowmetal Pistons and the Indy 500 new developments in the firm, and Ed Burdick (who was then thirty-one) was one of them. “In establishing the Dowmetal Department a year ago we really set out to accomplish four things,” Burdick told the stockholders.

Auto races, with a car featuring them. 62 miles per hour for the 500 miles to win a race in which only nine of the twenty-three racers who started in it actually finished the race. Drivers at the race tracks in Owosso and Saginaw, Michigan, were familiar with the pistons and had won regularly there, driving what were called “racing Fords” for the most part, but this was the first really “big” race won with Dowmetal pistons. As soon as he heard about the Indy win, a jubilant Herbert Dow sent a telegram to the members of the Dow board of directors announcing this victory: “Dow metal pistons won first and third Indianapolis race,” it said.

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