MESSRS. EDITORS :—For some years I have been struck with the amount of metal which is actually wasted and lost in the above processes. In puddling, there is what is called drying the iron, and then it must be melted or refined to make plate metal; during these processes from 15 to 20 per cent is lost. In boiling iron, pig metal is used without refining, and it wastes from 5 to 8 or ovca 10 per cent., it also requires 100 pounds of scrap iron burnt to nothing, and 200 pounds of Cham-plain ore to keep the furnace in order, daily. Some time ago I discovered a method of refining iron without melting it: that is, I can render it fit to be puddled by drying only, or make it equal to plate metal, and save the ] 5 or 20 per cent usually lost, and dispense with all scraps and ore. Is that patentable ? and how can I be safe until I prove it ? OPBP.ATOE, Birmingham, Pa., Feb. 19th, 1858. [Much has been done in the treatment of iron in a molten state to refine the product, and it depends entirely upon whether you have invented a new method of treatment, as to its patentability. You might lodge a description of you invention with some friend, if you do not feel like filing a caveat. You will be as well protected in one act as the other. EDS.
This article was originally published with the title "Puddling and Boiling Iron" in Scientific American 13, 27, 214 (March 1858)