General view of the exterior of the Primos Chemical Company facilities in Lakewood, Colorado. In 1919, the Vanadium Corporation of America acquired the Primos Chemical Company, assuming control of its molybdenum, tungsten, and vanadium deposits in Colorado, as well as its plant in Primos, Pennsylvania.
Vanadium, a malleable transition metal, was discovered in its natural state in Mexico by Andres Manuel Del Rio in 1801, though it was not isolated and recognized as an element until 1830. Following the discovery of a large deposit of vanadium in the Peruvian Andes in 1905, vanadium became commercially viable and significantly impacted the steel industry. In 1906, the American Vanadium Company (later the Vanadium Corporation of America) was organized to mine the new deposit, known as Mina Ragra, and use of vanadium to produce specialty steel alloys quickly became widespread, particularly in the burgeoning automobile industry.
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Primos Chemical Company. “Primos Chemical Company Facilities in Lakewood, Colorado,” 1915. Vanadium Corporation of America Photograph Collection, Box 1. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/4b29b649p.
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