COLORADO SMELTING COMPANY, 1885 – 1887
A significant group of photographs previously owned by ROBERT CARL STICHT, chief chemist and assistant metallurgist of The Colorado Smelting Company, Pueblo, Colorado, 1884 – 1894. After a decade in Colorado smelting, Sticht, on the recommendation of Dyer Peters, a noted American mining consultant, became the chief chemist and metallurgist of the Mt. Lyell Mining Company, near Queenstown, Tasmania, Australia. While there, Sticht perfected a pyritic copper smelting process that dramatically improved the recovery of mineral values for the Mt. Lyell properties.
During his employment with The Colorado Smelting Company, Robert Sticht was assistant chemist and metallurgist to Otto H. Hahn. Hahn, at the time, was working for The American Mining and Smelting Company of Leadville. But Hahn could not resist the opportunity his friend, Anton Eilers, offered him. Eilers owned The Colorado Smelting Company, built in 1883 – 1884 to process the silver ores of the Madonna Mine, located in the Monarch Mining District, Chaffee County, Colorado. As Eilers expanded his smelting plant’s capacity, more and more silver ores arrived from Leadville and other Colorado silver mining district. The silver ore market continued to grow, and soon the Pueblo smelters competed with the Denver smelters for tonnage. In the mid-1880s, the Pueblo Smelting and Refining Company entered the silver-lead market. This firm, and that of The Colorado Smelting would later merge, as did the Guggenheims’ Philadelphia Smelting & Refining Company and many others, responding to the increasing competition within the industry. Then, in 1899, The Colorado Smelting Company became the core business around which The American Smelting and Refining Company was formed. Anton Eilers and the Guggenheims combined their resources to form what would become one of the most influential companies in western American mining — The American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO).
Group of 25 original boudoir-card photographs related to metallurgist Robert Carl Sticht and The Colorado Smelting Company, circa 1885 – 1887.