Edward Wilson Davis papers
Scope and Content
These papers include a manuscript copy of a talk Davis gave before both the Six O'clock Club and the Lion's Club in January 1924 entitled, "The Iron Mining Industry in Minnesota," and dealt with the problem of the depletion of high grade iron ore resources in the Mesabi Range and how this problem would be solved by the development of a low grade iron ore industry. Eventually this led to the utilization of Mesabi Range taconite deposits. Also discussed in the manuscript are such topics as the nature of iron ore and its relation to metallic iron and the problem of unfair taxation of the mining industry and how it has discouraged the development of new mines.
Also included is a reprint condensation from the Reader's Digest(September 1954) of an article about Professor Davis entitled "The Professor's Crazy Billion-Dollar Dream." This had originally appeared in its complete form in the August 1954 issue of Nation's Business. There is a tribute to E. W. Davis from the Board of Directors of Reserve Mining Company , East Beaver Bay, Minnesota, July 7, 1953. This is an elaborate seven-page illuminated manuscript on parchment paper and bound in leather which speaks of the contributions of Professor Davis in the development of the taconite industry in Minnesota. Also included in the papers are various patent files.
Language of Materials
Collection material in English
Use of Materials
Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.
Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.
Biographical Sketch of Edward Wilson Davis (1888-1973)
Edward Wilson Davis, B.A. (1911), Electrical Engineering degree (1918), Purdue University. Joined the staff of the school of mines (1912) at the University of Minnesota; served as superintendent (1918-1937), and director (1938-1951) of mines experiment station at the University of Minnesota. Considered the father of the taconite industry by pioneering modern processing of lower grade ore.
E. W. "Bud" Davis, "Mr. Taconite" was born on May 8, 1888 in Cambridge, Indiana. He received a BA in 1911 and an electrical engineering degree in 1918 from Purdue University. He began working at the University of Minnesota as an instructor in mathematics in the School of Mines from 1912-1915. He became superintendent-professor of the Mines Experiment Station in 1919 and was director-professor from 1938 until 1951. He was appointed as professor in 1951 retiring from the University as professor emeritus in 1955. He was awarded honorary doctorates from Purdue University (1955) and the University of Minnesota (1956).
Davis is most noted for a process he developed that could easily produce a pig-iron ingot from taconite ore, greatly increasing efficiency and making the mining of taconite economically feasible. After retiring from the University in 1955, Davis was a consultant for the Reserve Mining Company in Silver Bay, Minnesota, and chairman of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Committee on Mining. Throughout his career, he wrote over 30 mining related articles, such as Pioneering With Taconitepublished in October of 196, and held 15 patents. Edward Wilson Davis died in Duluth, Minnesota December 3, 1973.
1 box (1.0 cubic foot)
Collection contains the papers of Edward Wilson Davis, professor emeritus and director of the University of Minnesota Mines Experiment Station; considered the father of the taconite industry
Source of acquisition
The collection was received from the University of Minnesota Records Management Office in 2001.
- Minnesota. Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board
- Patents Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Reserve Mining Company
- Taconite -- Minnesota Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Edward Wilson Davis Papers, 1924-1967
- Amy Flessert, Guy Peterson
- March 2006
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Collecting Area Details
Contact The University Archives Collecting Area