ACID PLANT

The plant commonly known as the Acid Plant began in the autumn of 1904 when ground was broken for the construction by the Pulaski Mining Company.
The process used the sulfur-bearing iron ore brought by rail from the Gossan Mines near Galax and burned in the furnaces. The sulfur burned off as sulfur dioxide and left a rich iron oxide cinder, which had magnetic properties. The sulfur dioxide gas was converted to sulfur trioxide and then to sulfuric acid. In the early years, production of the acid was difficult. The escaping sulfur dioxide gas was offensive in the atmosphere. The company had 'two reasons to improve the production process: to save money and prevent pollution of the atmosphere. A complete weather recording system, approved by the U.S. Weather Bureau, was installed atop the clubhouse. This information came in good defending the company in a lawsuit filed against the company by a local farmer, who claimed sulfur fumes were ruining his crops. The moisture records, the prevailing wind speed and direction recorded in the ''weather bureau'' proved to the company's defense.
The late D.C. WYSOR was hired by General Chemical Company as a geologist and worked earnestly to improve the image of the plants in the company's system. At Pulaski Works he instructed a farmer hired to work the land owned by the company, proving that crops and trees could live in the acid plant environs. The cornerstone of the modern brick office and laboratory building at the Pulaski Mining Company was laid Tuesday, July 17, 1912.

Source: SW Times, 1939 Centennial Edition


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