Page 24 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology






Page 24 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology
P. 24

continued from page 22                                                tion of how rapidly wire rope appli-
         time recognizing the effect it would have                             cations were expanded from a simple
         on chain and hemp rope companies as                                   fix for a single problem in a wet mine-
         part  of  that  emphasis  marks  Wilhelm                              shaft, into hundreds of other uses,
         Albert’s wire rope attainment as a near-                              many of which did not exist until wire
         ly unique event in the history of technol-                            rope enabled a test of someone’s bright
         ogy. Any private individual who had in-                               idea for solving another problem. It is
         vented something as significant as wire                               a product that is manufactured and
         rope (e.g. Samuel F.B. Morse who was                                  used daily all over the world, yet it
         active with his telegraph) would have                                 goes unnoticed in many cases simply
         applied for patent protection immedi-                                 because it is so ubiquitous.
         ately in hope of gaining market domina-                                 In Leadville, Colorado, USA there is
         tion and attractive profits.                                          an active organization called the Na-
           Albert went  even  further  in  his  an-                            tional Mining Hall Of Fame. It was es-
         nouncement of success.  He proceeded                                  tablished in 1987 aiming to construct
         to supply detailed instructions regard-                               a museum building on the campus of
         ing the tools and techniques he had de-                               the Colorado School of Mines. The ini-
         vised: “The manufacture of them from                                  tial plans for creating a hall proved to
         iron wire is, in fact, a very simple and                              be too ambitious; a vacant high school
         not  an expensive  operation,  and  yet                               school building in Leadville was cho-
         there are a great many apparently in-                                 sen instead.
         significant  circumstances  which  mate-                                As of this summer, 240 men and wom-
         rially delay the work…I have, therefore,                              en already are enshrined in the NMHF.
         resolved to describe the process and its                              This includes people like Simon Inger-
         peculiarities,  and  hope  thus  to render                            soll (1818-1894) who was one of Albert’s
         some service to practical science…”  Roland Verreet giving a presentation of Albert’s   contemporaries. His only successful in-
           It seems virtually inconceivable that   methods at the Clausthal Mining Museum.  vention (the rock drill) was immediately
         Wilhelm Albert’s great wire rope suc-                                 patented by him. He next quickly sold
         cess in 1834 has been largely ignored   Patent Office regulations of the United   it off to investors who were actually the
         on  the  internet.  As  wire  rope  profes-  States  actually  delayed  the  advent  of   ones that developed it.
         sionals we need to do everything we   moveable control surfaces on fixed wing   The announced purpose of the NMHF
         can to make historians more aware of   aircraft, one of the great steps forward   is:  “To  ignite  a  torch  from  the blazing
         his work, and its global impact on our   in the technical history of transportation   chapters of mining and prospecting histo-
         society. Hundreds  of  applications for   and warfare. At a history-teaching web-  ry, with which to illuminate the lives and
         his innovative product have been de-  site, the advent of steam and electricity   heroic deeds of men and women who pio-
         vised by other people and put into use   are  cited  by  John  Buescher  as  the  two   neered the development of this vastly rich
         all over the world on a daily basis. He   most important inventions of the 1800s,   empire, and thus encourage and inspire
         has fully achieved his intent to “render   but wire rope, which extends the utility   future generations of young Americans.”
         some service to practical science”. One   of both, is not included in his depiction.   The worldwide wire rope industry
         of  his  most  fascinating  ideas  about   A 5-page article about the History of   has been remiss in not nominating
         how to double production speed still   Technology published in the on-line En-  Wilhelm Albert for recognition by the
         makes sense today – to hairpin wind   cyclopaedia Britannica does not include   NMHF and other organizations. We all
         strands and begin in the middle of the   any mention of Herr Albert and his wire   ought to become more active, bringing
         rope using two closers simultaneously   rope, and nothing about the subsequent   attention to what he achieved and how
         – that would also double the maxi-  UK and USA improvements and inven-  he gave it freely to everyone. WRN
         mum length produced!               tions which caused wire ropes to be ad-
           A few contrasts and comparisons pro-  opted by other industries.      Sources:
                                                                                 The primary details of this essay come from Wolfgang
         vide emphasis for a need to giver higher                              Lampe’s  lecture  “Alberts Aufzeichnungen  in der heissen
         ranking of this attainment. The legal   CONCLUSION                    Phase seiner Erfindung” (2009) and from the OIPEEC es-
                                                                               say “W. A. J Albert and his wire rope” ODN834 by Jens
         procedures pursued by the Wright broth-  The internet now provides the much-  Weis and Isabel Ridge (2009).
                                                                                 The illustrations are from Roland Verreet’s collection.
         ers, for example, demonstrate how the   needed  tool  for  establishing  recogni-

                                             Making wire rope by hand was difficult.

               Cartoon by Rolf Bunse. © Roland Verreet
         24     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   June 2018
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