Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Ellis Corey

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William Ellis Corey (c1866-1934)

1934 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM ELLIS COREY died of pneumonia at his home in New York on May 11, 1934. He was sixty-eight years of age at the time of his death and had been in retirement for the last five years.

At the age of sixteen Mr. Corey took up employment in the chemical laboratory of the Edgar Thomson Works of Carnegie Brothers & Co., and while there he came under the eye of the famous ironmaster. Five years later he was made superintendent of the plate mill of the same works, and the additional responsibility of supervising the open-hearth and slabbing departments was laid upon him shortly afterwards.

In 1893 Mr. Corey was appointed superintendent of the Carnegie armour plate department at Homestead, and while holding this position he perfected his invention of the Corey reforging process, which added valuable ballistic qualities to armour plate and which became almost universally adopted.

In 1897 he became chief superintendent of the Carnegie works in succession to Mr. Charles M. Schwab. Four years later he again succeeded Mr. Schwab, this time in the presidency of the Carnegie Steel Co. when Mr. Schwab became the first president of the United States Steel Corporation. Two years later, in 1903, when Mr. Schwab resigned to become president of the Bethlehem Steel Co., Mr. Corey succeeded him as president of the Steel Corporation. He retained this position for eight years, being succeeded by Mr. James A. Farrell in 1911.

In 1915 Mr. Corey became president and chairman of the board of the Midvale Steel and Ordnance Co., and remained in this position until 1923. At his death he was a director of many companies, including the Baldwin Locomotive Works, the Vanadium Corporation of America, the International Nickel Co., the International Motor Truck Co., Mack Trucks, and the Mesabi Iron Co.

Mr. Corey took up membership of the Iron and Steel Institute as long ago as 1898.

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