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British Industrial History

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Richard Moldenke

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Richard Moldenke (1864-1930)

1930 Obituary [1]

Dr. RICHARD MOLDENKE died at Plainfield, N.J., on November 17, 1930, after a surgical operation; he was sixty-six years old.

He was born in Watertown, Wis., on November 1, 1864, and graduated from Columbia University School of Mines in 1884; in 1887 he took his Ph.D. degree there.

In 1889 he organised the mechanical and engineering departments of the Michigan College of Mines, and the following year he became metallurgist for the McConway and Torley Co., Pittsburgh.

In 1899 he designed and erected the Pittsburgh plant of the Pennsylvania Malleable Iron Co., and acted as superintendent until production was well under way. President Roosevelt commissioned him to investigate the mines of the country with a view to the development of safety devices, and during the Great War he supervised the founding of war materials and drew up the specifications for the Liberty aero-engine castings.

Among his numerous articles, treatises, reports, &c., on foundry subjects, his books "Principles of Iron Founding" and "Production of Malleable Castings" stand out most prominently.

He was one of the founders of the society which ultimately became the American Foundrymen's Association; he served for fifteen years as its secretary and treasurer. In 1925 he was awarded the Joseph C. Seaman gold medal of that body. He was a member of numerous scientific and technical societies, and was a vice-president of the American Society for Testing Materials. When the Iron and Steel Institute held its Autumn Meeting in New York in 1904, Dr. Moldenke was a member of the Reception Committee which organised the proceedings and arranged for the comfort of the visitors.

He joined the Iron and Steel Institute in 1902.

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