Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

William R. Walker

From Graces Guide

William R. Walker (1857-1922)


1923 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM R. WALKER died in hospital in Now York on December 20, 1922, after an operation.

He was born at La Porte, Indiana, in 1857, and his career was closely identified with the iron and steel industry. He was first connected with the North Chicago Rolling Mill Co., Chicago; then he was appointed chemist for the Crown Point Iron Co., New York, and later he served with Spang, Chalfant & Co., Pittsburgh, as works superintendent.

He was early associated with Robert Forsyth, the well-known steelworks engineer, who constructed the South Chicago Works of the North Chicago Rolling Mill Co. Prior to 1890, he was works manager for the Union Steel Company, and upon the formation of the Illinois Steel Company he became general manager of its South Chicago Works.

At the time of the formation of the United States Steel Corporation in 1901 he was appointed assistant to the President, which position he held until the time of his death. He gave special attention to metallurgical research and to improvements in operation and production. As the organiser of the metallurgical staff and general research work of the Steel Corporation, he had much to do with the transition from Bessemer to open-hearth practice. He was an advocate for the electric furnace, and believed that it held the solution of the problem of quantity production of high-grade steel, and consistently favoured the installation of large electric furnace units. His advocacy of the installation of large electric furnaces in the Chicago district in war time was approved by the Steel Corporation's executive, and the results in the production of shell steel fully justified his position. He also brought his experience to bear on the design, construction, and operation of the blast-furnace and its equipment.

He had the remarkable faculty of being able to discuss and conduct investigations in practically any technical branch of the ferrous industry. He was a member of many of the American technical associations, including the American Iron and Steel Institute, American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, and the Franklin Institute.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1889.



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