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James E. York

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James E. York (c1846-1914)

1914 Obituary [1]

JAMES E. YORK died on Saturday, October 10, at his residence in Brooklyn, New York, at the age of sixty-eight. He was born in Wednesbury, Staffordshire, and was educated at the National School in that town. At the early age of twelve he commenced work at a small foundry and smithy, and at fifteen was apprenticed to the Patent Shaft and Axletree Company, Limited.

On leaving the employment of that Company he spent some time at works in Stockton, and in 1867 he went to America, where he secured employment as a roll-turner, and in that capacity his services were employed at various works, including the Rensselaer Ironworks in Troy, New York; the Akron Iron Company, Ohio; the Valley Iron Company, Portsmouth, Ohio; the Newport Rolling Mill Company, Newport, Kentucky; and the Mitchell and Tranter Company, Covington, New York.

In the year 1876 he was appointed superintendent of the Burgess Steel and Ironworks, Portsmouth, Ohio, and in 1880 he went to Wisconsin, where he was associated in the construction of blast-furnaces at Black River Falls and at Ashland, Wisconsin. He was the inventor of the York Universal Mill, and in 1885 organised the York Universal Mill Company, and a mill was built at Duluth, Minnesota, to roll structural shafts. It was, however, not altogether a success, and was not in operation very long; in this enterprise he was associated with Mr. Henry Grey. The York Mill was, however, recognised as a valuable adjunct to work plants, and was ultimately adopted at Differdingen and by the Bethlehem Steel Company, who worked a large girder mill on this system.

In 1906 a paper descriptive of the York Mill was read before the Iron and Steel Institute, of which he was elected a member in 1895, under the title of "Improvements in Rolling Iron and Steel," and in 1908 he communicated a further paper on "The Physical Qualities of Steel in Relation to its Mechanical Treatment." He later became associated with ore properties in Venezuela, but soon after development was commenced the concession was cancelled by the Venezuela Government, and although an award has since been made to reimburse American Companies holding Venezuela concessions, this award was not made in time for him to benefit thereby.

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