Page 2 - Frank Murphy and the Open Hearth
ISSUE : Issue 52
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/8/1
les for the CPR and the CNR. And we were making wire rope used for the pits, for the cables. As I said, we made gun bar? rels, gun blocks. We even made steel at one time for bobby pins. And steel wool. Now, you imagine going into a store and picking up a little package of steel wool --we used to make that in 200-ton lots. Coordinate the steel for it, and we'd send the steel away. We didn't make it--we made the steel to make the steel wool. grees. So, you can imagine the heat we'd have in a furnace to melt at 3200. We had to be using nickel and copper, chrome. We made steel here for the bottom of war? ships- -the lowest carbon you could possi? bly make. It was just like sponge--it would stop a torpedo. It wouldn't explode. Like, if it was 35- or 40-carbon, you hit it, it would shatter. What we made was like a piece of dough--it would go in, and just leave a bulge in it. That was our (trouble)--we were shipping our raw materials out. Instead of having our factories here (in Cape Breton), we were shipping our raw material away for somebody else to finish it. (Was that good or bad?) Oh, that was bad, because we lost all the industry. We were just making the rough ma? terial. We'd make it and ship it away. At one time, we made about 200 different grades of steel here. We made rails for the North Shore, Quebec, to stand the frost, and we made them for India to stand the heat. Everything was made--we made rails for Poland, Malaysia, South Africa, New York Central, British Columbia. We made rails--Sydney Steel spanned the world. (These different places would require a little different kind of steel.) Every one of them. Had to make them to their speci? fications, whatever they wanted. And we made them all here just as--like a woman making a pot of soup. Make your additions and everything else. And we were using, like, we were using tungsten, which only melts at 3200 de- 'Enjoy superS cCining in a re[a?(ing & [u?(urioiLS atmospfiere SPEaAUZING IN CHINESE CUISINE Canadian Dishes also available FULLY LICENSED TAKE OUT & DEUVERY ORDERS Major Credit Cards Accepted iteking Hestaut'nt 355 Charlotte Street Dowr'town Sydney Tel: 539-7775 Open daily 11:00 am ' ONE OF } li CAPE BRETON'S Si FINEST i ??! xa I I I I I M All this stuff was made here. The sad part of this: our story never got out to the world, what we did here. You know? And now--we were owned by an English firm, let's face it. And if they didn't show a profit of 18 to 20 cents on the dollar, 50 years ago, they weren't staying. I always say, we were like Cuba--pardon the expres? sion. We had outside ownership, see. The Americans owned Cuba. They ran it, they put whoever they wanted there. Until Cas? tro overthrew them, and then they got clear of this American ownership. And we had British Empire Steel, which was ours. Then we went to--we were owned practically by--all the board of directors never sit here, they always sit in Montreal, and told us what we're going to do down here. This is what killed us. And then we got into the government, and that was worse again. Because all the po? litical hacks got jobs. We had fellows out there who didn't know their...--I'm sure-- they were just out there--they were friends of a party, and they got a job. The board of directors, now, for Sydney Steel--there's not one steelworker on it. And when the Liberals were there, the Lib? erals gave their friends the jobs. (And you don't think that's any way to run a steel plant.) You can't--how can you run a steel plant when you haven't got steel men? You have to have men that know steel to be able to run a steel plant. (There was a fellow there,) he was an engineer of some kind, but he never ran an open hearth furnace. I don't believe he was ever in the Open Hearth. He was never in the Blast Furnace. How the hell could you run a job when you don't know what's going on? It's great to read a book. Technology is wonderful. I've got a stack of steel books out there. One of them: Steel-Making for the World Over. I read it cover to cover, but it didn't tell me how to run an open hearth furnace that was in trouble and it wasn't getting its gas or its oil or the steam, and I'd have to get out and find out what am I going to adjust to bring this heat into control. This (book) didn't tell me anything about that. It told me how to make it. (And this book here. The Making. Shaping, and Treating of Steel. It's put out by the United States Steel Corporation.) U. S.
Cape Breton's Magazine