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

By E. N. Brandt

During global struggle 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 severe part in those flares was once magnesium, a steel that used to be all at once in nice call for. Dow, in addition to a half-dozen different U.S. corporations, speedily begun production magnesium, yet by means of 1927 Dow used to be the one U.S. corporation nonetheless within the company. Dow’s key innovation used to be a mode of extracting the steel from seawater, an engineering accomplishment ultimately accomplished at Freeport, Texas, merely 11 months sooner than the Pearl Harbor assault. Dow used to be the crucial provider of magnesium for U.S. and British planes in the course of international warfare II, a contrast that sarcastically yielded an indictment from the U.S. govt on monopoly fees. the corporate ultimately turned the world’s greatest producer of magnesium until eventually 1990, while the chinese language entered the marketplace and provided the steel at rock-bottom costs. Dow quietly ended its construction of magnesium in 1998. Brandt’s background is a fascinating examine Dow’s eighty-three-year romance with this outstanding metal.

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McGranahan, assistant manager of the Texas Division; Nelson D. Griswold, assistant manager of the Texas Division; and G. F. ”9 While January 21, 1941, became a historic date in the Dow calendar, behind the scenes at this date there were a bunch 45 Chapter Four 46 of grim-lipped Dow chemists. The electrolytic cells in which magnesium was made were not behaving as they were expected to. The cells had been started up on December 31, 1940, using cell feed shipped in from Midland. When they were switched over to cell feed made from seawater early in January, strange things began to happen.

Anderson (soon promoted to captain) as general assistant, and Captain Stevens as scientific observer. Stevens said he considered Kepner and Anderson the army’s best balloonists. 48 miles, and appeared to be headed easily to a new record height. Unfortunately, at that altitude they discovered that some small rips were occurring in the balloon soaring above them, and they decided immediately, and wisely, to descend. Throughout these flights the balloonists had problems with the balloon fabric freezing in the extreme cold of the upper atmosphere, and then beginning to crack and tear.

Up to this time, all of the balloons involved had carried aloft a globe-shaped aluminum sphere called a gondola, in which were housed the balloonists and a variety of scientific instruments to measure cosmic rays and other phenomena in the stratosphere. S. agencies looking at the Soviet challenge with growing interest was the Chicago World’s Fair—or “Century of Progress,” as it called itself—which was scheduled to open shortly. The promoters of the Fair were more and more intrigued by these balloon flights.

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