Guide to the Emmet Mercury Boiler Records

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0968
Creators:
Hartford Electric Light Company.
Foster Wheeler Corporation
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.
Stone and Webster.
General Electric Company
Babcock and Wilcox Company.
Emmet, William Le Roy, 1859-
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI
Dates:
1920 - 1961
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
4 Cubic feet
11 boxes
Repository:
The Emmet Mercury Boiler Records contains information about General Electric Company and Hartford Electric Light Company's development, installation, and use of William Le Roy Emmet's mercury boiler units. The mercury boiler units used mercury fluid along with steam power to improve cycle efficiency in converting coal or oil to electric power. The collection contains articles, news clippings, reports, instruction manuals, log books, data sheets, photographs, and drawings related to the experimental unit installed at Dutch Point, Connecticut, and the first commercial use of a mercury boiler at the South Meadow Station in Hartford, Connecticut.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection documents the construction, operation, and demolition of mercury boiler generating units developed by William Le Roy Emmet and installed by the Hartford Electric Light Company in Hartford, Connecticut. The collection contains articles and research about the use of mercury and the development and implementation of mercury boilers. Also included is general correspondence between Hartford Electric Light Company and General Electric Company, operational logs, collected data, instructional guides, inspection reports, and photographs and drawings for the Dutch Point Mercury Boiler and the South Meadow Station.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into four series.
Series 1: Background and Research on Mercury Boilers, 1920-1961
Series 2: Correspondence, 1921-1950
Series 3: Dutch Point Mercury Boiler Operational Records, 1923-1949 Subseries 3.1: Data Sheets and Reports, 1923-1927
Subseries 3.2: Log Books and Instructions, 1924-1949
Subseries 3.3: Photographs and Drawings, 1923-1927
Series 4: South Meadow Station Operational Records, 1928-1961
Subseries 4.1: Data Sheets and Reports, 1928-1961
Subseries 4.2: Log Books and Instructions, 1928-1955
Subseires 4.3: Photographs and Drawings, 1928,1955

Historical
Historical
The mercury boiler was developed by a General Electric Company's engineer, William Le Roy Emmet, to use mercury fluid in conjunction with steam power to improve cycle efficiency in converting coal or oil to electric power. An experimental mercury-steam generating unit was installed by Hartford Electric Light Company in 1923 at Dutch Point, Connecticut. In June 1927, ground was broken for the South Meadow Station in Hartford, Connecticut, and Babcock and Wilcox Company was contracted for the boiler. This unit was the first commercial installation in the nation and was based on the data collected from the Dutch Point unit. The Dutch Point unit was damaged during the course of operations and was permanently shut down by Emmet in September 1927. Emmet requested that all efforts be focused on the South Meadow Station. In August 1947, the first commercial unit at South Meadow Station was taken out of service and disposed of, and a second unit was installed and put into use on January 1, 1949. The engineering company, Foster Wheeler, was used to help design the second unit. During inspections in 1959 and 1960, it was discovered that the second unit had a wastage issue, and the unit was then operated at half load capacity for the remainder of 1960. On January 4, 1961, the second unit was removed from operation, and on April 19, 1961 it was officially retired. The mercury was removed and sold to Woodbridge Chemical Corporation. The decision was made to not to replace it with another mercury unit.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Sara Wheeler, July 2017; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.
Author
Sara Wheeler
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Emmet Mercury Boiler Records, 1920-1961, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions. Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.

Custodial History
Custodial History
Transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Work and Industry in 2006.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Reports Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mercury Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mechanical engineering Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Logs (records) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Electricity Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chemical engineering Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blueprints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Boilers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Architectural drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Articles Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mercury vapor Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives