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anything but a blur, and whether

Fig. 1. Furnace empty, ready to run.
(cropped from border, squared)
ex J(oseph). W(illiam). Richards (1864-1921 *). “The Söderberg Electrode, First American Installation.” Transactions of the American Electrochemical Society 38 (1921) : 350-358 (discussion 358-363)
University of California copy, digitized April 29, 2010

“I have never seen the Söderberg electrode except in print, and as shown in the paper which Professor Richards has just read to us. In the latter, however, one cannot see anything but a blur, and whether it is an electrode or not, I do not know. It looks like one, but one has to draw on the imagination to believe it.”
in comment by Robert Turnbull (Managing Director, U.S. Ferro-Alloys Corp., Niagara Falls, N.Y.) : 359

See de.wikipedia on the Söderberg Electrode, a self-baking, continuous electrode whose complexity may have defeated Mr. Turnbull’s imagination, but which is in wide use today.

A discussion in English can be found in Knut Sogner, “Constructive Power: Elkem, 1904-2004,” in Susanna Fellman et al, eds, Creating Nordic Capitalism: The Development of a Competitive Periphery (2008), partial view here.

28 January 2016

blur; doubt; imagination; metallurgy; J. W. Richards, “The Söderberg Electrode” (1921)