Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Z-Mill, Cluster or Sendzimir Mill

It is common for steel rolling mills to have backing rollers in a stand, but a Sendzimir mill has nine backing rollers on each side! This allows the working rolls to exert the pressure needed to cold roll harder metals such as stainless steel without bending the rolls.

"Washington Steel was the first U.S. company to use a Sendzimir Mill to cold-roll stainless steel." [wikipedia]

Of the three diagrams I have seen, this is the only one that doesn't have mistakes that are obvious to me. Note that the backing rolls at each level touch the rolls below but not each other.
Waterbury Farrel Brochure, p4

This diagram incorrectly shows the backing rolls touching each other, but it shows which rolls are driven and the two small work rolls. 
pinterest and LibraryOfManufacturing

The small work rolls allows the rolls to be made with stronger metals such as titanium because the smaller size is more affordable.

Waterbury Farrel Brochure, p4

The rolls are a small fraction of the unit. This is a reversible mill so that means the space between the work rolls (gauge) can be changed between each pass. I'm glad they opened the door to show the rolls in the photograph.
Waterbury Farrel Corp. Model Zr23-19

The work roll has a small diameter and the pass reduction rate is high, up to 60%. Some materials can be rolled into very thin strips without intermediate annealing.

Waterbury Farrel Brochure, p1

9:22 video   At 3:58 they show the rack moving. I assume that controls the gauge. But I have yet to figure out how that works.

And interesting summary of the mill types.

2:37 video

Monday, November 22, 2021

Old Blast Furnaces: 1833 Buckhorn Iron, 1794-1840 Peter Tarr (King's Creek) and 1852-1894 Buckeye

Peter Tarr: (Satellite)
Buckhorn Iron: (I could not determine the location)
Buckeye: (Satellite)

The 1742-1883 Cornwall Furnace has its own notes because it is the Cadillac of preserved blast furnaces. Those notes also record some other old blast furnaces in the Facebook comments. I've promoted the Buckhorn and Peter Tarr Furnaces to these notes because Buckhorn has a photo showing what a typical blast furnace looked like when it was operational and the Peter Tarr Furnace was the first iron furnace west of the Alleghenies.

Buckhorn Iron Furnace

Mike Delaney posted two images with the comment:
Buckhorn Iron Furnace remains, Hanging Rock Iron District, SE Ohio. From a trip to the region in Early January 2019. Many of the Early Michigan iron furnaces where of the same basic design. This district in Ohio was a major Iron producer from the 1830's until after the Civil War. Iron ore was mines from Limestone formations and also Bog Iron ore from nearby swamps and Bogs. I think we hit about 17 iron furnace sites on a three day trip. The number of iron smelting furnaces in this district of Ohio and Eastern Kentucky number from 85 to more than 100 depending on the sources of info.  What made this furnace kind of an exciting find was from the mouth of this abandoned furnace came the pig iron that was re-melted in an east coast foundry and cast into the two 11" bore 16,000lb iron Dahlgren Guns mounted on the USS Monitor ironclad that dueled the CSS Virginia(Merrimack) during the civil war. Much of the Unions iron resources came from this district. This one made my day. Found a small piece of pig iron here.  Second photo is the Buckhorn in better days.
Otis Aldridge Jr.: Did you visit Buckeye Furnace State Memorial? [see the "Buckeye Furnace" heading below] It is a complete reproduction including some company buildings.
Mike Delaney: Otis Aldridge Jr. Yes we did. Very well done. The one at the Vesuvius Furnace was as well.
Michael Maitland: How did they load the Monitor guns, presume they had to retract the guns into the turret and then crane load a shell.
Mike Delaney: Michael Maitland The guns retracted into the turret and the gun ports closed to protect the turret crew while loading. They were muzzle loaded.

[This explains so much about how they were operated. I'm going to have to look for a nearby hill when I visit BF ruins.]

Update: A reader found this furnace in Section 9 of this map and pointed me to this topo map.
1961 Pedro Quadrangle @ 1:24,000

So it is north of the creek and west of the road. It appears to be lost in vegetation from the perspective of a satellite.

Peter Tarr Furnace

Rob Lucas posted three photos with the comment: "King's Creek near Weirton,  West Virginia"
Sam Klein shared
Rob Lucas posted again
Kyle McGrogan: I'd love to see the original archaeology on that furnace, as it is small by even 18th Century Virginia frontier furnaces in the eastern Panhandle....!



Fortunately, I was able to determine the location of the Peter Tarr Furnace. Since it was close to Kings Creek Road, I got my own view of the furnace to show that it is built near a hill.
Street View

Please read the two historical plaques that Rob posted. Much of the Google search results are covered by those plaques.

"The furnace has two tuyeres, the blast entry facing the river. The bellows system was probably located where the road currently lies. The main tapping tuyere is smaller than typically seen and constructed with a rounded arch." [OldIndustry] It sounds like the bellows system was probably water powered.

Peter Tarr was able to produce about 2 tons per day. "Of...interest is the fact that the chimney, or stack, is circular in dimension. Most other furnaces of the period and area had square or rectangular chimneys." [WayMarking]

James Tarr posted the comment:
4 great ,grandfather 
sold the foundry to the Weir Brothers
that was the start of the Weirton Steel Co.


Buckeye Furnace

I'm glad I pursued Otis' comment on Mike's post about the Buckeye Furnace because it has the original stack and it is another example of how the stack is built next to a hill so that a level building can be used to house the loading of the furnace. Like Buckhorn Iron, this furnace is also in Ohio's Hanging Rock Iron Region. "While several iron furnaces remain, Buckeye’s reconstructed furnace is the only one that, except for the trees that have grown since closing, is much as it was when it was operating." [OhioHistory]

Something went wrong with Street View and I could not get a closer view of this side. This makes me appreciate what a good job Street View normally does. This view shows that this furnace was also built near a hillside so that a level building could be built to load the furnace.
Street View

"The furnace, with an 11-foot bosh, initially produced 7½ tons of iron per day, operating 42 weeks out of the year. 3 The stack was later raised to 34-feet in height to increase daily output to 12 tons of iron per day."
[This page also has photos of the preserved boiler and drone exterior view photos. And it has some photos of a different Buckhorn Furnace.]

Another view of the upper loading building and the lower casting building.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Parmelee and Santa Fe through passenger cars to eastern railroads

Chicago had six major train stations. All the information in these notes comes from the comments on a post that was effectively asking: how did passengers get between Santa Fe (Dearborn Station) and Pennsy (Union Station)? If the passengers were in coach, they used their legs. Parmalee had a set of limousines and provided a transfer service between the stations to reduce the distance that passengers would have to walk.
Jack Steen commented
 Parmelee adverts appear in each and every timetable from each railroad that entered Chicago back in the day ! (Here, at Central Station - 1950s)
[And I've read that a ticket for Parmelee was sometimes included with your tickets to a Western and an Eastern railroad.]

The question really concerned passengers in through Pullman sleepers where the railroad would have to switch the car from one station to another. A comment by Andrew Townsend also indicated that through baggage/mail cars would also have to be switched between stations.

Harold J. Krewer provided a copy of the following diagram with the comment:
There was a physical connection between the C&WI tracks to Dearborn Station and the PRR/CUSCo. tracks into Union at the 21st St. interlocking.
Even after Amtrak started, they used the former Santa Fe coach yard and engine facility for several years until the former PRR coach yard and diesel shop had been sufficiently rehabbed to move all work there. All Amtrak trains using the Santa Fe facility had to use that connection.
Here is a 1948 PRR map of 21st St.:

Comments on Harold's diagram comment

Bob Lalich added:
Interchange of passenger cars between ATSF and PRR was accomplished at 21st St, as mentioned above. There was a connection between NYC and ATSF south of 18th St for such interchange. Connecting between ATSF and B&O was more complicated. I don't know the exact route but it had to have been roundabout because there was no simple connection between Grand Central and Dearborn, or the respective coach yards.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Bob's comment
Since the C&WI and RI+NYC were grade separated at their crossing, I wondered where that connector was. This map is at 50%, and it shows that the connector to RI+NYC was along Archer Ave. The 21st connection to the Pennsy is at the top of this excerpt.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Bob's comment
The map at 100%.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Bob's comment
This connector turned out to be a good test of the accuracy of topo maps. The 1929 and 1953 maps did not show it. But the 1963 map does show it.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Bob's comment
This 1938 aerial shows that the balloon track was added later and cut down the size of the Grape Yard. It appears the connector crossed Wentworth at grade level. So it would have had a steep grade to get up to the RI+NYC tracks. But that grade should have been no problem for one or two passenger train cars.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Bob's comment
Actually, the grade is not too bad because Wentworth goes down here to clear the overpass.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

CSX/C&O James River Viaduct and Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, VA

(Bridge Hunter; Satellite, this is the western side; Satellite, on the eastern side it follows Dock Street to the Fulton Yard)

This is the west end of the C&O viaduct along the north side of the James River and I included the Tredegar Iron Works buildings which now house the American Civil War Museum. The 9th Street Bridge is in the background.
Street View

Stanley Short posted
Westbound Chesapeake & Ohio manifest No. 91 is at the west end of the James River Viaduct in Richmond, VA on May 15, 1983, led by GP30 No. 3024. It is taken from the old Lee Bridge (U.S. 1), which has since been replaced. Thankfully, it is still possible to shoot from the new bridge. That said, the scene has changed dramatically. The Federal Reserve Bank in the upper left and the James Monroe Building, to its right, remain. The brick building on the left is the old Tredegar Iron Works, which predates the Civil War. It has since been restored as a museum. The area in the lower center and right of the image is now a beautiful public park, with plenty of parking. The smoke stacks are gone, and much of the center and background are occupied by high rise buildings. Photo by Stan Short.

J.B. Rail Photog shared

Dennis DeBruler commented on J.B.'s share
I knew CSX/C&O was the top level of the triple crossing. Now I better understand how it got so high.
CSX/Seaboard Air Line is the middle level and NS/Southern is the ground level.

Looking East from the 9th Street Bridge. The I-95 Bridge is in the background.
Street View

Looking West from a I-95 ramp.  The Triple Crossing is along the right side. I caught a MoW truck on the CSX/SAL route.
Street View

Looking East from another I-95 ramp. The tracks curving under the bridge is the James River Viaduct. The tracks continuing along the flood wall go to the Main Street Station. The canal is a topic for another day.
Street View

Once we get east of the jog in the flood wall, I can use Dock Street to get views of the viaduct, which is good because there are no more road bridges across the river. In the foreground below is the route to the Main Street Station and behind it is the route that continues along the river shore. Note the steel door that would close the hole in the flood wall that allows Dock Street to go through the wall.
Street View

But of particular interest is the spindly trestle under the current trestle. The spindly trestle is obviously now a trestle to nowhere. I wrote a couple of theories as to the purpose of that trestle. But I have deleted them because I agree with PRJ's comment: "The under-trestle looks like protection for the bike/walking trail from potential falling debris (spikes, track bolts, etc) from the trestle." If you look at the following street views, the spindly trestle exists only where the trail is below the railroad trestle.
Street View

This is the same location as above, but looking Southeast to show more of the spindly trestle under the current trestle.
Street View

Looking Northwest from where Dock Street leaves the side of the James River Viaduct. 
Street View

The spindly trestle ends as Dock Street and the trail leave the James River Viaduct.
Street View

The James River Viaduct gradually becomes lower to get back to ground level. I picked this sample of the descending viaduct to catch a movable bridge across the canal for the NS/Southern route.
Street View

The viaduct ends at Nicholson Street where the tracks use an embankment.

Friday, November 19, 2021

1969 RI-138 Claiborne Pell Bridge at Newport, RI

(Bridge Hunter; Historic BridgesSatellite)

The suspension span is on the west side of the bridge. 
Aug 2013 Photo by C Hanchey via BridgeHunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

This bridge replaced a ferry service. The main span of this 2.1 mile bridge is 1,601' (288m). The towers are 400' (122m) high and provide a clearance of 215' (77m). "It remains the longest suspension bridge in New England." It carries 27,000 vehicles a day. Claiborne Pell was a senator. "An image of the bridge appears on the back side of the Rhode Island version of the U.S. quarter." [ritba]

Bridges Now and Then posted
Lifting the middle piece of deck structure into place on Rhode Island's Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge, c. 1968. (Brian Stinson Collection)
Bridges Now and Then posted
September 24, 1998. The decommissioned battleship Iowa (BB 61) passes under the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge on its way to join the decommissioned aircraft carriers Forrestal and Saratoga at the Naval Education and Training Center, Rhode Island. (Battleship Iowa Museum)

Aug 2013 Photo by C Hanchey via BridgeHunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

A significant fraction of the bridge is a low causeway on the east side.
Street View

This is an example of a tower design that looks simple, but strong.
Street View

This is one of several construction photos that are available on the BridgeHunter page. It is the second bridge I have seen where the tower is built with a derrick on a temporary tower on what I presume is a barge. I have not yet figured out how they "grow" the height of the temporary tower.
Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, "Newport Bridge," in Virtual Exhibits, Item #85 via BridgeHunter

I found a higher resolution copy of the photo with the tower derrick.
Bridges Now and Then posted
Construction on the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge over Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, September 26, 1967.
Dan Murphy: Gotta love the derrick crane in the background. You can also see workers tying rebar for the deck and in the foreground, the rebar for the barrier is in place. (Notice here the electrical conduits already inside the barrier bars.)

Bridges Now and Then posted
A view of the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge over Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, August 16, 1968. (Rhode Island State Archives)

Thursday, November 18, 2021

City Brewing/Heileman (Old Style) Brewery in La Crosse, WI and Rail Service


Street View, Aug 2019
[It looks like the new LaCrosse paint fades a lot worse than the old Old Style paint.]

Wisconsin Historical Society posted
On this day [Nov 13] in 1858, one of Wisconsin's best-known breweries was established by John Gund and Gottlieb Heileman.
By the turn of the century, it had become one of the city's largest manufacturing concerns, and throughout the 20th century its storage tanks (painted to resemble a six-pack of beer) were a LaCrosse landmark.
At its peak, Heileman's annual sales of 7.5 million barrels brought in $900 million, making it a target for purchase by a series outside investors whose management eventually forced it into bankruptcy in 1991.
The brewery officially closed in 1999, throwing more than 500 workers out of work.
Today the former Heileman Brewery is home to City Brewing Co., which manufactures and packages beers, teas, soft drinks, energy drinks and other new age beverages. Its packaging capacity of over 50 million cases makes the LaCrosse firm one of the largest beverage producers in the country.
Old World Wisconsin will be featuring the story of the G. Heileman Brewery in the Brewing Experience. #OWWNewArrivals
📸: 1977 | WHI Image ID 56388
Piney Woods: They bought up a bunch of neat small breweries just to close them. Shameful legacy.
Todd Solberg: Piney Woods , not accurate. With a few exceptions, Heileman bought regional breweries to increase brewing capacity. In almost every case, they then turned those struggling regional breweries around and increased employment. Different story of course when the wheels fell off following the original sale to Alan Bond and subsequent sales. Most were closed following the purchase by Strohs.
Howard Bychowski: What about Paps Blue ribbon?
Charlie Smigo: Howard Bychowski. Currently, Pabst Blue Ribbon is brewed in Milwaukee at the MolsonCoors brewery. The contract Pabst has with MolsonCoors will be expiring in 2024 and City Brewing will be taking over the contract brewing for Pabst. Pabst ( ownership)is now also a part owner of City.
Scott White: Charlie Smigo Since Pabst owns Old Style , does that mean Heileman's is finally coming home?
Joe Kady: one of only six U.S. cities where more than one-quarter of adults drink excessively
Todd Solberg: 17.5 million barrels.

Jon Geier, Feb 2015

Street View, Aug 2017

When I tried to figure out which railroad served this plant, I got confused because some maps labelled it with a Milwaukee related name whereas other maps labeled it with a CB&Q heritage. So I dug deeper. It turns out that this segment along the river was used by both. On the south part of town they had redundant trackage.
1956 La Crescent and 1927 La Crosse Quadrangles @ 1:62,500

And at the north part of town CB&Q did street running in 2nd Street whereas Milwaukee stayed close to the river. 
1956 La Crescent and 1927 La Crosse Quadrangles @ 1:62,500

The Jim Asfoor Trail is part of the CB&Q RoW whereas the Old La Crosse Railroad Bridge is part of the Milwaukee RoW. Both routes on the north side are obviously abandoned. The USGS map labels the existing southern part as Soo. I think that is wrong. It should be BNSF or a shortline. The most recent available topo maps don't bother to label this branch. A 1991 map shows both routes are still intact on the north side. By 1963 just the CB&Q route existed on the south side.