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British Industrial History

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James P. Roe

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James P. Roe (1860-1934)

His mechanical furnace was first used at the Reading Iron Co's Works, Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

By 1917 Roe's mechanical furnace was the predominant puddling machine

1934 Obituary [1]

JAMES P. ROE died at his home near Douglassville, a suburb of Reading, Pa., on September 14, 1934; he was seventy-four years of age.

Born in Consett in 1860, he began his business career with the Consett Iron Co., at the age of seventeen, but went to the United States of America in 1883, taking a position as mechanical engineer with the Pottstown Iron Co., Pottstown, Pa. By 1893 he had become the general superintendent of the Glasgow Iron Co. of Pottstown.

In 1898 the plant of the Pottstown Iron Co. was leased by the Glasgow Iron Co., and Mr. Roe was put in charge. About this time he invented the Roe iron-puddling process; he read a paper describing its development at the Joint Meeting of the Iron and Steel Institute and the American Institute of Mining Engineers which was held in London in July, 1906.

In 1922 he became associated with the Reading Iron Co., Reading, Pa., and was encouraged to improve his invention, a large structure being built to house the puddling plant. For some time Mr. Roe was the general superintendent of the works; in recent years he was the research director of the bureau of engineering of the Reading Company.

He joined the Iron and Steel Institute in 1905.

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