General view of the gas-fired smelting furnace used to volatilize (i.e. cause to evaporate or disperse in vapor) potash at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory located in Washington, D.C. The individual visible in the photograph is identified as Mr. Madorsky.
The Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory (F.N.R.L.) was established at American University in 1919 under the directorship of Arthur B. Lamb. Initially part of the War Department, the F.N.R.L. was the successor to several wartime initiatives to develop a secure domestic supply of nitrate compounds necessary for the manufacture of explosives during World War I. With a staff of about 110 individuals, including 35 to 50 chemists, the F.N.R.L. focused on the manufacture, production, and development of products of atmospheric nitrogen, including munitions and fertilizers.
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“Gas-Fired Smelting Furnace,” March 21, 1930. Travis P. Hignett Collection of Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory Photographs, Box 1. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/qr46r0938.
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