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British Industrial History

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Fred. H. Daniels

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Fred. H. Daniels (1853-1913)

1913 Obituary [1]

FRED. H. DANIELS died at his home in Worcester, Massachusetts, on August 31, 1913. He was born at Hanover, New Hampshire, on June 16, 1853. When sixteen he entered the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and immediately after graduation, in 1873, he entered the employ of the Washburn & Moen Manufacturing Company as draughtsman. Soon afterwards he was transferred to the machine shop, and later studied chemistry under the late T. M. Drown, of Lafayette College, eventually proceeding to Europe to study the state of the wire industry in various countries. While in Sweden he served as a workman for several months at the Bofors Iron and Steelworks.

This course of practical study enabled him, on his return to America, to install at the works of the Washburn & Moen Company sixteen Lancashire hearths, and as a result this firm became the largest manufacturer of charcoal iron in the United States. In 1878 he went abroad a second time to inspect a rolling-mill in Germany. Practically all continuous mills had until then alternating horizontal and vertical rolls, a combination possessing great disadvantages. Upon his return to Worcester he was, in conjunction with Mr. C. H. Morgan, granted patents for the horizontal rod mill as well as for the reels, and a mill was built which proved very successful.

Shortly afterwards he was promoted to the position of superintendent of buildings, and in 1887 he became assistant general superintendent of all the Washburn & Moen plants. About this time the business had grown to such proportions that it was decided to erect a second plant at Waukegan, Illinois. He designed and superintended the construction of the buildings, which were laid out for an output of 800 tons per day of all kinds of wire rods and wire.

In 1895 he established the California Wire Works at San Francisco.

In 1898 the Washburn & Moen Manufacturing Company was taken over by the American Steel and Wire Company, and he was appointed engineer. When the business was afterwards sold to the United.

States Steel Corporation, he became chairman of the board of engineers in charge of 143 plants. He was commissioned to design and construct several large plants, including the Pacific Coast Works of the American Steel and Wire Company at San Francisco, the Cuyahoga Works at Cleveland, and the Birmingham Works.

He was a member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, the American Society for Testing Materials, and the American Iron and Steel Institute, and was a life member and Past Vice-President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1897.

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