pennsylvania salt manufacturing co. dedicates new laboratory

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  • Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Co. Dedicates New Laboratory

    T H E Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Co. dedicated its new Whitemarsh

    Research Laboratories, located at Chest-nut Hill near Philadelphia, at an impres-sive ceremony on October 4. The new laboratories are housed in the former Stotesbury Estate, known for years as Whitemarsh Hall, a palatial residence, often referred to as the Versailles of America.

    The construction of Whitemarsh Hall began in 1917 and was completed in 1920, though refinements were made through the following 10 years. Total cost was in excess of $2,500,000.

    The building is fireproof, reinforced concrete, and steel construction, faced with limestone, and contains approxi-mately 150 rooms, and over 3,500 feet of halls and corridors. The building con-sists of five floors, including three main floors and two basement floors.

    More than 500 guests of the Pennsyl-vania Salt Manufacturing Co. attended the luncheon at which Charles F. Ketter-ing, general manager of the Research Laboratories Division of General Motors Corp., was the principal speaker. The program was broadcast over Station WFIL.

    Dr. Kettering, in his inimitable way, discussed the role of a research laboratory and a research organization, pointing out that research should be regarded in the light of an insurance policy.

    Dr. Kettering, while paying tribute to the library facilities available at White-marsh Laboratories, urged the research staff of the Pennsylvania Salt Manu-facturing Co. to give greater thought to the literature yet to be written and caused

    gales of laughter when he stated that the research publications of an organization are usually more carefully read by compe-

    ' titors than by its board of directors. President Leonard T. Beale of the Penn-

    sylvania Salt Manufacturing Co., pre-sented the key of Whitemarsh to S. C. Ogburn, Jr., manager of research and development and executive head of Whitemarsh Research Laboratories. Re-sponding, Dr. Ogburn outlined for the guests the general plan and layout of the new research laboratories; inspection of the building followed, and comment was most favorable on the research facilities now available to the Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Co.

    A number of yery interesting engineer-ing problems were presented in converting Whitemarsh Hall into practical and effi-cient research and development labora-tories. At this independent location, proper facilities had to be provided for an integrated program of work, including offices, library, and patent division quar-ters, as well as research laboratories, shops, pilot-plant facilities, greenhouse and experimental farm, and special electrical and mechanical services. Full use was made of all existing services. These were augmented with additional electrical capacity, high-pressure steam, and a separate system for disposal of laboratory wastes.

    The first floor is utilized chiefly for offices, conference room, patent division quarters, library, and lunch room. .The seminar room, locker rooms, chemical and apparatus storage rooms, shops, ice plant, and boiler rooms are on lower floor. Laboratories occupying the entire second

    floor are devoted to research in organic and inorganic chemicals, physical and chemical analyses, fundamental and ex-ploratory projects, electrochemicals, tex-tile processing, detergents, agricultural chemicals, disinfection and sanitation, pulp and paper chemicals, product im-provement studies, and sales service work in special chemicals. Other rooms on this floor include staff offices, balance rooms, dark rooms, first aid, etc. Labora-tories for electroplating' work, laundry and dry cleaning, ceramics, and glass blowing are located on other floors. For large-scale studies of new processes, a pilot-plant laboratory, three stories in height, is located in one wing of the build-ing. Services provided in the laboratories include water, gas, compressed air, vacuum, low- and high-pressure steam, distilled water, and alternating and direct current electricity.

    Housed Ar t Treasures

    Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York moved to Whitemarsh Hall a substantial portion of its valuable collection of art objects including items from many lands'. After two years at Whitemarsh Hall, these were secretly and carefully returned to the New York quarters of the museum. Whitemarsh Hall was considered by the Metropolitan Museum to be the most secure and all-around satisfactory place for protection of these valuable objects from possible air raid attack.

    S..C. iOsbnm / Jr., manager, research and development department/ A . , bVGiJbbs, advisory technical director/ William A . LeLende; Jr., research director/ Walter S. R i f f , development director; Whitemmh Research Laboratories of Pennsylvania Salt Menafecturin* Co.

    16S C H E M I C A L A N D E N G I N E E R I N G . N E W S

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    A restful environment, ample space for agricultural experiments, and ease of conversion made Whitemarsh Hall, formerly the palatial Stotesbury residence, an ideal laboratory for the Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Co.

    Library. Special features of the building are marble floors, a movie theater, radio distribution system, and a gymnasium. Baths have gold-plated fixtures.

    -For large-scale studies of new processes, a pilot plant laboratory, three stories in height, is located in one wing.

    There are laboratories for research in organic, inorganic, agricultural, ~.

    Staff discussion group in seminar room. Other facilities on the pulp and paper chemicals, physical and chemical analyses, electro- lower floors are lockr rooms, chemical and apparatus storage, chemicals/ textile processing, and disinfection arid sanitation. shops, ice plant, and boiler ~"~ '

    V O L U M E 2 f ; N O . 1 9 O C T O B E R 1 0 , 1 9 4 4

    rooms. Offices are on first floor.


    Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Co. Dedicates New LaboratoryHoused Art Treasures


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