The Unix Heritage Society mailing list
 help / color / mirror / Atom feed
From: Douglas McIlroy <>
To: Mark Seiden <>
Cc: segaloco <>,
	The Eunuchs Hysterical Society <>
Subject: [TUHS] Re: nassau smelting was Re: Current Ownership of 3B/WECo Computer IPs
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2023 15:58:20 -0400	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

Way off topic, but too nostalgic to pass up. I was involved in
after-hours training courses and persuaded Bob Morris to organize the
first one ever to be held off campus, "Bell System with field trips".
The highlight of the series was Nassau Smelting and Refining. They
proudly told us about their new environmental consciousness: aqua
regia (used to reclaim gold) was now being adjusted to pH 7 before
being dumped into the Kill van Kull, and stack emissions of lead had
been reduced from  hundreds of pounds per year to eight.

The scene was almost straight out of Agricola. An enormous steel
jousting pole mounted on a backhoe was used to shove scrap copper and
live-cut tree trunks into a ferocious green-flaming furnace. Men in
moon suits and respirators puddled slag floating on open vats of
molten lead. A Dickensian crone snipped gold tips off the old relays
cradled in her lap. Clothes, including shoes, exchanged at the door of
the gloomy gold room, were collected periodically and thrown into the
aqua regia pots to extract every last milligram.

The only process that really deviated from Agricola was pyrolysis, for
reclaiming modern cable cladding. But he surely would have been
impressed by the mechanism for casting continuous copper bar and
collecting it on a giant spool. They delighted in telling about the
time the spool stopped turning while the copper feed continued,
filling the hall with an enormous tangle of 1" copper stock.


On Mon, Sep 11, 2023 at 1:47 PM Mark Seiden <> wrote:
> hi, old friends (and i mean that both figuratively and literally)
> the recent/continuing brouhaha involving lead sheathed cables made me wonder about
> nassau smelting and refining in staten island (a sub of WEco which ended up with Lucent)
> (and apparently another location at  W. 29th st which was a superfund site for a while.)
> wonderful chaplainesque photo:
> also regarding the Staten Island location, quoting from
> "The cleanup was to entail covering 450,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil with a thick, unbreakable plastic liner, as well as layers of clean soil.”
> (hah, what could go wrong with that?)
> On Sep 11, 2023, at 11:34 AM, Paul Winalski <> wrote:
> Regarding the possible Western Electric -> Lucent -> Nokia IP path,
> has anyone tried contacting Nokia's legal department and asking
> whether they think they own the rights to the 3B/WECo computer IP, and
> if not, do they know who does (or might) own it?
> -Paul W.

  reply	other threads:[~2023-09-11 19:58 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 11+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2023-09-11  1:11 [TUHS] " segaloco via TUHS
2023-09-11  1:35 ` [TUHS] " alan
2023-09-11  2:02   ` alan
2023-09-11  3:17   ` Kevin Bowling
2023-09-11  1:43 ` Clem Cole
2023-09-11  2:57   ` segaloco via TUHS
2023-09-11  3:37     ` Clem Cole
2023-09-11 15:34       ` Paul Winalski
2023-09-11 17:46         ` [TUHS] nassau smelting was " Mark Seiden
2023-09-11 19:58           ` Douglas McIlroy [this message]
     [not found]             ` <>
2023-09-11 21:06               ` [TUHS] " Douglas McIlroy

Reply instructions:

You may reply publicly to this message via plain-text email
using any one of the following methods:

* Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client,
  and reply-to-all from there: mbox

  Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting:

* Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to
  switches of git-send-email(1):

  git send-email \
    --in-reply-to='' \ \ \ \ \

* If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header
  via mailto: links, try the mailto: link
Be sure your reply has a Subject: header at the top and a blank line before the message body.
This is a public inbox, see mirroring instructions
for how to clone and mirror all data and code used for this inbox;
as well as URLs for NNTP newsgroup(s).