Interim report on Grantville Strategic steel plant Saalfeld 1 the Amelia furnace

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`___________________United States Europe Steel Corporation___________________ ___________________________1 Schwarza Road______________________________________________________ Saalfeld, Thuringia________________________________________________________ May 1, 1632 _____________________________
Interim report on Grantville Strategic steel plant Saalfeld 1 the Amelia furnace
Spring is here and the melt has begun. Unfortunately, we only moved about half the material in April an in March. Route 250 being paved has allowed the bus service to continue to the edge of the ring of fire. This allows our employees to go from USE Steel to Grantville for shopping and medical care despite the mud. The April weather was quite typical, with highs of forty degrees at the beginning of the month, rising into the fifties by the end. Daily lows are now consistently above freezing. Shipments of brick, refractories and ores almost ceased the second half of the month as everything turned to mud and the river Saale melted. USE Steel has contracted with Rudolstadt mills to build four barges able to each hold two wagons. We plan to load wagons on the barges at Saalfeld and Rudolstadt and use the Saale river to transport them to our plant site. Shipments of coal and clay continue coming on schedule from the Grantville coal mine.
We moved the farm house parts from Hirzbach to the hilltop just north of New Lake. As part of the move we built a cart track to the top of the hill. Construction will begin as soon as the grown is dry enough. Once the farm house cum observation tower overlooking the plant is finished, USE Steel will be somewhat more secure from the bands of bandits that continue to move through Thuringia. We have joined with Glassworks, USA, Ltd. in hiring Capt. Casmir Pulaski to be in charge of the industrial site security force.
Lighting improvements and design changes are ongoing. Currently we are testing casting limestone with brass tubes inserted for gas and air flow using a pump to force air into the lamp the extra heat caused by the increased air supply provides a large increase in light. The only problem with the new design is we have not figured out how to build the air pump system other than as a test system. USE Steel is continuing work to improve the lamps. Meanwhile we are planing to produce the current versions of our lamps for sale late this summer with Grantville Glass chimneys.
The transfer of USE Steel assets to Ziegelhuette Schwarza Refrakteknik und Feuerfest is going smoothly, in large part due to the skill of Manfred Roentgen and his father.
Euro-mining has had success this month in negotiating with John George, Elector of Saxony, to obtain mineral rights to the manganite deposit located in Ilfeld. Count Ludwig Guenther has obtained a supply of corn whiskey aged in oak barrels for a full five months; this gives him much better access to John George. We are hopeful that these negotiations will be concluded before the end of May. Euro-Mining is interested in other potential sites for iron ore, coal, graphite, limestone, manganite, chromite, kupfernickel, copper, molybdenum, tin, lead, mercury, and zinc. Count Guenther has written his sister about her mining interestÕs in the Harz mountains.
Our attorney Herr Wolfgang has negotiated a agreement with Mr. Donatello Conaro for purchase of supplies of one or two tons of tin and mercury from England, one ton of lead from the Harz mountains, five toms of zinc from Amsterdam, and twenty tons of calamine ore from Aachen. These supplies are to be delivered to our warehouse in Halle this summer if the war allows. Use Steel hopes to be able to obtain enough tin so that we can try and make tin plate once we get the Bessemer converter working. The lead will be mixed with some of the tin and used as solder. The mercury we will sell to Euro-Mining for the refining of silver. With the calamine we are going to try and extract zinc and produce brass.
Euro-Mining is continuing to purchase as much nitroglycerin as they can. This nitroglycerin is making a big difference in iron ore and Quartzite production. After the explosion in Kamsdorf that killed three miners last month USE Steel talked to Mr. Donatello Conaro about obtaining some diatomaceous earth to mix with the nitroglycerin. The German miners are impressed with its power. They seem to be very fatalistic about the dangers. Euro-Mining ask about the use of Ammonia and lard mixed for mining explosives; we passed the information on to Ollie Reardon and Greg Ferrara.
As we said earlier the transportation of materials has been hampered by the spring thaw. The Salle is unuseable with the breakup of ice and high water level. Ziegelhuette Schwarza Refrakteknik und Feuerfest are producing 50,000 fire bricks a month, along with another 50,000 Quartzite bricks, and 20,000 interlocking Quartzite bricks. Mostly from stored raw materials. They are now using the new limestone kiln to produce composition limestone brick and are going into production firing limestone lamps. The brick supply and increased light from the longer days have allowed us to increase our construction rate on the four recuperative ovens for the blast furnace and the stamping mill. All the brick work on these projects should be completed later this month.
USE Steel has cast most of the copper blast furnace cooling parts and is casting tuyeres this month. Blast furnace construction has started up now that the wait for copper for cooling castings and carbon brick is over. The roof over the furnace and ovens is keeping the rain off the ovens and blast furnace construction sites. The supply of copper for castings is up to thirty tons of copper out of thirty-three tons needed. We can now worry about how to dead burn limestone.
USE Steel has ordered twenty five tons of Blue Vitriol (copper sulphate) from Euro- Mines Mansfeld and has also asked them how much copper they will be able to supply. Starting in June USE Steel is prepared to take up to fifty tons a month. To overcome any problems with the quality of blister copper USE Steel is trying to set up a electro-refining operation in Grantville based on an adequate supplies of Blue Vitriol, electricity, and copper from Euro-Mines.
USE Steel only received one shipment of five tons of Copper from Mansfeld early last month. There was great difficulty with the copper shipment; because the sled broke through and slid under the ice causing the horses to be pulled back over the sled. Two horses were drowned. The teamster came down with pneumonia and died a week later. All this damage happened in only five feet of water. USE Steel recovered the copper but regrets the loss of life. We also received the ton of copper from Kamsdorf. We are storing this months Frankfurt copper in Frankfurt until the Typhoid epidemic is over. We may stop buying copper from Frankfurt unless we can renegotiate the price. We hope for another delivery of copper from Mansfeld before the end of May. If the roads dry out we should have no problems. USE Steel has leased one of the few Electric welding machines in Grantville we are trying to adapt our coke to build carbon rods for the welder.
The first Carbon brick came out of the kiln last month. The carbon brick results are mixed -- about what we expected, but not what we had hoped for. The good carbon brick was about half of what we needed for the blast furnace hearth, the rest is not useable in the hearth. Ziegelhuette Schwarza Refrakteknik und Feuerfest promise us they will do better with the next batch. We adapted the blast furnace design and used carbon brick over sandstone block in the construction of the hearth. USE Steel has restarted construction of the blast furnace, and completed the masonry work on of the Furnace hearth. USE Steel is now working on the next part of the blast furnace the furnace bosh, fitting of tuyeres will begin on as soon as they are cast. USE SteelÕs stamping mill building is more than half completed and it will be ready for equipment installation next month.
George Swisher has converted two more of the eight leased automobile engines to use as power for the stamping mill. USE wishes to commend George Swisher for the marvelous job he is doing in keeping all our engines running along with training our workers in how to operate them. USE Steel just received the big two hundred ten horse power Steam engine. We are setting it up to power the blower for the blast furnace.
The spring thaw allowed us to rest most of the horses and repair our wagons. The 200 horses and 100 oxen from Bohemia, mostly around Prague, should be delivered this month. USE Steel has not been able to completely rest all our old horses, but they are only being worked lightly around the construction site. Duke Johann Philipp and Count Ludwig Guenther requested the user of our horses, in helping to get the spring planting in. This will slow deliveries down this month but food production is paramount. USE Steel turned over our entire supply (one hundred pounds) of Blue Vitriol to be used in treating seed grain to Duke Johann Philipp and Count Ludwig Guenther.
USE SteelÕs blacksmiths continue converting our salvaged steel into blast furnace parts. The elevator frame is complete and will be used first as a crane in construction of the blast furnace. (This is the structure that is adjacent to the blast furnace.) The big improvement this month was the delivery of abrasives from Grantville Abrasives. USE SteelÕs small refractory furnace, used to reheat iron and steel, is now in use. This furnace can handle up to five tons of iron or steel allowing us to build the blast furnace casing and the blast air cleaner. You may see some of the steel casing going up around the blast furnace hearth and bosh. This furnace will also be needed to construct the Bessemer converter and rolling mill parts later this year. We are now test casting a few wood burning stoves and plows in order to have products for sale when the blast furnace starts production later this year.
USE Steel has accepted a contract to recast GrantvilleÕs rail road rail into bar rail for the rail road lines starting in July. We are interested in accepting more contracts for iron and steel forgings up to five tons with a delivery date after July. If anyone has steel or iron that they need to have forged or cast please have them contact USE Steel. If the number of contracts warrants it, USE Steel is contemplating building a larger refractory furnace. This contract has caused us to start construction of a rolling mill earlier than we has planed. This is the building under construction next to the refractory furnace.
USE Steel has requested that Jennings Town & Country Properties locate farmland that is available for lease or purchase in the area. We are interested in land for pasture and for growing fodder for what is becoming a very large horse and ox herd. We plan on growing grain and hay on most of the land. We are also looking into composting manure to generate methane. The tentative site is near Kamsdorf where we can sell the methane to Euro-Mining.
Construction of the USE Steel technical library is now complete. USE Steel is still planning on opening the library to the public from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday starting the first of June. We are soliciting donations of extra copies of any available technical reference material. Our valuable collection of technical and engineering books is now housed in this location. Use Steel has sent several of the engineering books to Jena to be published. It should be a very high priority to get enough copies produced that all our vital up time information cannot be lost.
We continue to experienced burns and sprains around the plant site. We are working hard to improve our safety record and hope to reduce our accident rate.
Thankfully there have been no further outbreaks of measles. The flu and pneumonia deaths have stopped as well with the warmer weather except for the teamster. We are getting radishes and spinach out of the Grantville green houses soon we will have fresh vegetables from the garden. We continue to be worried about smallpox and plague. Now that spring is here we can start to worry about yellow fever and malaria.
USE Steel is again making the plea that the government place a high priority on upgrading navigation on the Saale river, making it navigable by barge at least as far as Jena, and hopefully to Rudolstadt or Saalfeld. The usefulness of the frozen Salle for transportation last winter makes the point of how important a resource the River Saale is. With the new contracts to supply Gustav AdolfÕs army with food and ordnance; that came out of last months meeting better transportation is and even greater concern. Any help USE Steel can get in making the Saale navigable from Saalfeld to Rudolstadt would be appreciated. USE Steel plans on making the improvements necessary to handle the four barges that we have on order. They will hold two wagons each, and to reduce wear and tear on the roads, wagons and horses. We are planing to build a small steam powered tug boat to tow the barges.
Our Swedish reconnaissance team reports this month that they have purchased one hundred tons of Swedish wrought iron of very high quality and ten tons of copper in Stockholm to be delivered to Halle in July. They are still looking for coal mines and sources of limestone and Quartzite. The low sulphur and phosphors content of Swedish iron make it perfect for a Bessemer Converter. This along with the lack of foreign armies and a stable economy makes it increasingly likely that our next steel plant location will be in Sweden. Their last letter is full of good news about the abundant supply of copper and iron ore. They have not been as successful in finding coal, and the lack of available manpower is of great concern. They informed us that Louis de Geer seems to control a large number of mines and foundries in Sweden, he may prove a problem is starting up operations.
We have very quietly hired 167 Calvinists from around Warsaw. They are a mixed bag of teamsters stone and brick masons black smiths, carpenters, stable hands and three stable masters. They were glad to escape from the Holly Roman Empire. We also picked up a group of 34 metal workers from Dresden. They had moved there to escape the war but could not obtain citizenship. USE Steel now employees over seven hundred people.
The Polish reconnaissance team reports that the have found both horses and cattle in abundance. They are organizing the purchase and transportation of horses and cattle this month. They also report being contacted by Jews in Warsaw about the desire for some of them to move to Grantville. We told them that we can not speak for the Grantville Government but that USE Steel is interested in hiring metal workers of all kinds. We need copper and iron workers now but we will hire silver and gold workers. They were very impressed when we told them about the synagogue in Grantville.
USE Steel would have no chance of success without both Duke Johann Philippe and Count Ludwig Guenther writing letters of recommendation and by having personal representatives in our party. They seem to have relatives everywhere. If it were not for Count Guenther there would be no chance for success in obtaining mining writeÕs from John Georges people or others like him. Duke Johann PhilippeÕs letters have opened many doors in Stockholm and Prague this month.
Yours very truly,
Frederic Swisher VP

US Steel

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