Monday, July 20, 2009

1895 to 1914 "continued"

These were the glory years for Charles Taylor not only was he given the honour of building a plant for the great Peterborough Lift Lock but news of his inventive genius had reached Europe.

Charles made many business trips to Europe in the late nineteenth century, and belonged to many of the best social clubs in London and Paris. He saw the Worlds Fair in 1897 at Paris France and was much impressed with the Eiffel Tower and the Hall of Mirrors.

He bought one of Toronto's first cars, a 1911 Ford, at a time when driving was an adventure. A time when gasoline was obtained only in the city center and roads were limited.

In 1901 a Fourth compressor was built in the State of Washington. Then in 1906, a general purpose compressor was constructed in Norwich Connecticut. That same year Taylor was commissioned to build a 550 Horsepower compressor for the Victoria Copper Mine in Rockland Michigan which delivered air at 117 p.s.i. Other plants were built in Tarica, Peru and in Germany.

The largest and most ambitious Air Plant was the Ragged Chutes plant at Cobalt Ontario. Taylor visited Cobalt in 1905 and determined that the conditions and the mining industry were ideally suited to his invention. Work on the plant was completed in 1910.

To finance his company he invited many prominent New York bankers to Cobalt and treated them to a fabulous hunting and fishing expedition that included a huge barbeque of choice moose steaks. Needless to say they were duly impressed with his ability as a host and engineer that he was able to secure their financial backing.

The plant at Ragged Chutes is 5500 H.P. with a 1000 H.P. reserve. A 660 foot weir dam was built across the Montreal River to control the water flow. The air is transported by means of a seamless steel pipe. These specially designed pipes were brought in from Germany. A total of 21 miles of pipe were required for the project.

(More on the Cobalt Plant in the next posting).

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