Monthly Archives: December 2009

Parting Shots (p2)

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Continuing our final look at some of the various odds and ends scattered about the Quincy Smelting Works we take a walk around the exterior of the facility, and find a few buildings we had missed previously. First on that list is the pump house building, which sits attached to …

Parting Shots (p1)

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Before leaving behind the Quincy Smelter for good I thought I’d share a collection of random shots from throughout the facility – various odds and ends that didn’t fit comfortably in any particular category that I had already featured. We begin with this little beauty, one of several that were …

Tramways (p2)

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The slag skimmed from the furnaces was not simply a waste product that could be disposed of right away. While consisting primarily of waste rock there was still a fair amount of copper to be found as well. To remove those last remaining drops of copper the slag would be …

Tramways (p1)

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The Quincy Smelting Works is a large and expansive complex, one that is not only home to furnace buildings and mineral houses but also a sprawling collection of support facilities including coal sheds, warehouses, and slag dumps. In the beginning materials were transported across these facilities on simple wheeled carts, …

The Support Buildings (p3)

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While most of the Quincy Smelters support buildings run along a line at the facility’s west end, a few others are scattered randomly about the rest of the property. Two of the more prominent of these structures are on the facility’s south end, sandwiched in between the coal and copper …

The Support Buildings (p2)

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Of all the various support buildings that litter the Quincy Smelting Works one particular model stands out over the rest. In a sea of wood framed mediocrity, the machine shop’s cement block facade looks almost baroque in contrast. That cement block style reflects the building’s more recent construction, around 1907. …

The Support Buildings (p1)

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As we exited the boiler complex we were leaving behind the last of the Quincy Smelter’s main production facilities. But there was still – amazingly – a great deal of buildings still surviving at the site for exploration. These buildings were the smelter’s support buildings, smaller one-room structures which served …

The Boiler Complex (p2)

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For the last three years at CCE I’ve had the misfortune of coming across more than a few boiler ruins, with very little to show for it. As I’ve stated many times before boiler houses just don’t survive too well, due most likely to the unabashed eagerness of scrapers who …

The Boiler Complex (p1)

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Every mine and mill in the copper country required power. In the early days that power was mechanically based, utilizing line shafts and pulleys to transfer an engine’s rotational energy to various machines and equipment. Later that power was derived from electricity, and those same machines and equipment were simply …

Smelter Tech: The Corliss Engine

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While James Watt’s improvements to the steam engine may have been responsible for giving birth to the industrial revolution it would be the contribution of George Corliss that made it profitable. Watt’s contribution to engine design was one of practicality and reliability. Corliss’s contribution was one of efficiency, creating engines …

The Engine Room

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In addition to the smelting and refining operations undertaken at the Quincy facility there were additional requirements its infrastructure had to provide such as mechanical power, heat, light, and water. These duties were delegated to the smelter’s engine room – a sandstone building attached to the backside of the Cupola …

The Cupola Building (p2)

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A Cupola furnace – otherwise known as a blast furnace – takes a rather divergent approach to copper smelting as compared to the reverberatory process. Most notable is the fact that a cupola has no separate fire box, both the copper and fuel are combined together within a vertically oriented …