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

By E. N. Brandt

During international warfare I, in 1916, Herbert Dow, founding father of The Dow Chemical corporation, obtained information of “star shells,” guns that glowed eerily as they descended over the trenches of the enemy, making them more straightforward to assault. The severe part in those flares used to be magnesium, a steel that was once unexpectedly in nice call for. Dow, in addition to a half-dozen different U.S. corporations, rapidly begun production magnesium, yet by means of 1927 Dow was once the one U.S. corporation nonetheless within the enterprise. Dow’s key innovation used to be a mode of extracting the steel from seawater, an engineering accomplishment ultimately accomplished at Freeport, Texas, basically 11 months sooner than the Pearl Harbor assault. Dow was once the relevant 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 turned the world’s biggest 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 heritage is a fascinating examine Dow’s eighty-three-year romance with this striking metal.

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Additional resources for We Called it MAG-nificent: Dow Chemical and Magnesium, 1916-1998

Sample text

Yes, Dowmetal pistons were used at the Indianapolis race on the cars that won first and third positions,” he wrote, “and Edsel Ford is having us make some pistons for him for a motor boat to beat the Gar Wood. We are getting some advertising but haven’t got the dividends. “Glenn Martin told me that the aluminum piston heads were just as heavy as the iron ones used in airplanes. Their massive construction is evidently required for removing the heat rather than for strength. Our pistons passed the test at Dayton, which made them acceptable for use in Liberty Motors, a year or more ago, at which time the Metal was not in the same class with the Metal we are now producing.

1 Kettering and Midgley told Dow that if Ethyl caught on with the motoring public, they were going to need huge quantities of EDB. The optimum mix for Ethyl, Midgley said, was two parts of EDB to three parts of tetraethyl lead. They were estimating they would need as much as 600,000 pounds of EDB a month. Could Dow make that much? Herbert Dow told them 600,000 pounds a month was well beyond the total amount of bromine then being produced in the entire world. He said such numbers were also well beyond what he could generate by drilling more brine wells.

The promoters of the Fair were more and more intrigued by these balloon flights. Why not stage an attempt at a new altitude record by a balloon launched from the World’s Fair itself? they thought, and a project to do exactly this gradually took shape. The World’s Fair staff had already asked Auguste Piccard if they could display his record-setting gondolas at the Fair, and he had agreed to do this. Willard and the Gondolas Dow entered the picture in February 1933, when Irving E. Muskat of the Century of Progress scientific staff put in a telephone call to Willard Dow.

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