IndustryQuincy Smelting Works

Parting Shots (p1)

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 seemingly being stored inside the reverberatory furnace building. At first I thought these were the actual Quincy Smelter tram cars, but now I’m not so sure. Whatever they were used for it looks like these were of a bottom dumping design. (maybe used for coal?)

Besides those larger ore cars, we also came across a few of these flat topped models. These were found near the casting machine, so I assume that there were used to carry finished ingots. (the flat tops would seem to support this)

And then there’s this odd version. It looks to be some type of press, but mounted on a mall flatbed tram car for some reason. Once again this guy was found near the casting machine so perhaps it had something to do with the casting process.

Speaking of casting, we found this interesting piece of equipment next door in the reverberatory furnace building. Those shapes sticking up from its top look a lot like ingots, which makes me think that perhaps this was an ingot mold (laying upside down in this photo). Not sure if it was used with the Walker Casting Machine next door or not unfortunately. My guess would be not.

Back in the casting plant we find a large collection of these guys – items that look a lot like garden hoes. My guess is that these tools were used to skim off the molten slag from within the furnaces.

In addition to those skimmers we also found a large collection of ladles, such as these prime specimens laying out atop a tram car. These guys would have been used to pour molten copper into ingot molds as part of the casting process, before the advent of the automated casting machine of course.

Here’s a closer look at the ladles business end. You can see the small lip through which the molten copper would have been poured out. The connection seen further up the shaft would have been for a chain handing down from an overhead track. This chain would have supported the ladle and copper, allowing the operator to simply maneuver it into position over the molds and tip the ladle to pour.

Pouring and moving the ladles would have been accomplished by using these wide set of grips at the ladles opposite end.

One last item of interest related to the furnaces themselves is this pile of fire bricks. We noticed these green painted bricks along the face of the new No.5 Furnace as well. These guys were found in the warehouse, and I would guess were replacement bricks for whenever the furnace needed repair work.

To Be Continued….

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One Comment

  1. This is in reference to your picture #1 in this post. I’m like 90% sure its in Ispheming, or else it would be Negaunee. They have the same rail cars, exact size and shape as the one in your picture. They are scattered around town on the main streets. They are painted black and have the names of all the different mines and the years of operation painted in white lettering on them. I would assume from this that these cars were used in a mine. I am not sure of any smelting operations in the Ispheming or Negaunee area. For what it’s worth.

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