General view of the vertical retort and wood loading conveyor at the Cliffs Dow sawmill and wood distillation plant located in Marquette, Michigan. Providing a sense of scale, two unidentified employees are visible in the bottom right-hand corner of the photograph.
Seeking a source of raw material for its new plastic, ethylcellulose, the Dow Chemical Company joined with the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company to form the Cliffs Dow Chemical Company in April 1935. The Cliffs Dow plant in Marquette primarily produced charcoal used in the manufacture of pig iron, as well as a range of chemical by-products including acetic acid, calcium acetate, wood alcohol, and ethyl alcohol. Notably, when the Marquette plant ceased operations in 1969, it was the last wood distillation plant in the United States.
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Dow Chemical Company. “Vertical Retort and Wood Loading Conveyor,” 1949. Dow Chemical Company Historical Image Collection, Box 2, Folder Places--Cliffs-Dow Chemical Company--Marquette, Mich.--Outdoor Logging Operations. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/3484zh80m.
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