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Albert Ladd Colby

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Albert Ladd Colby (1860-1924)

1924 Obituary [1]

ALBERT LADD COLBY, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, died at Torquay on April 30, 1924, from influenza, contracted whilst on a business visit to this country.

He was born in New York in 1860. He was educated in the New York Public Schools, the College of the City of New York, and Columbia University, where he graduated with the degree of Ph.B. in 1881. He then served with the Bethlehem Steel Company as metallurgical engineer, and in this capacity he was prominent in the introduction and use of nickel steel.

He next joined the International Nickel Company as metallurgical engineer, and later acted as Professor of Chemistry at Lehigh University.

During the past nineteen years he practised as a consulting engineer, with headquarters at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and was well known as an expert witness in litigation involving patent rights and metallurgical questions.

For a number of years he was Secretary of the Association of American Steel Manufacturers, which initiated the first successful effort to standardise specifications for finished steel, and he was a prominent member of the American Society for Testing Materials.

He was the author of many contributions to technical publications, and wrote extensively on heat treatment of forgings, reinforced concrete, alloy steels, and various standard specifications. In 1900 he published a review and text of American Standard Specifications for steel adopted by the American Section of the International Association for Testing Materials, which included a discussion of the commercial methods for the physical and chemical testing of iron and steel in use in the United States, and a critical review of foreign specifications for rail steel.

One of his many visits to this country was during the Great War, when he was commissioned by the United States Government to work on the standardisation of aircraft steels. He was a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the International Association for Testing Materials, the Franklin Institute, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania, the American Iron and Steel Institute, and the Society of Chemical Industry.

He took a great interest in the activities of the Iron and Steel Institute, and contributed the following papers "American Standard Specifications and Methods of Testing Iron and Steel," 1900. "Comparison of American and Foreign Rail Specifications, with a Proposed Standard Specification to Cover Araerioan Rails Rolled for Export," 1906. "The Nodulising and Desulphurisation of Fine Iron Ores and Pyrites Cinder," 1906.

He served on the General Reception Committee during the visit of the Institute to New York in 1904, undertaking the work of organising the trip to St. Louis. In appreciation of his valuable help the Council of the Institute expressed on behalf of the members their sense of indebted- ness by presenting him with a piece of plate suitably inscribed.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1900.

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