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Pioneering with Taconite

Pioneering with Taconite

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Author Edward W. Davis

Minnesota Historical Society Press (March 17, 2004)


With humor and insight, E. W. Davis tells the story that begins with the discovery of then-valueless taconite on Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range in 1870 and several decades of attempts to process taconite commercially. Davis details the ups and downs of the exciting, decades-long research effort that resulted in a workable extraction method, followed by frustrating attempts to form the concentrate into small pellets. Finally, Davis describes building the first successful commercial processing plant at Silver Bay in the 1950s and the contributions by various companies to the birth of the industry. Along the way insider Davis recounts the founding of the three new northern Minnesota taconite towns, Babbitt, Silver Bay, and Hoyt Lakes.

  • 302 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873514965

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