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de Lesseps, New York, March 1st, 1880. Published, with other addresses on the same occasion, by D. Appleton & Company, New York, 1880.
An Adaptation of Bessemer Plant to the Basic Process. A paper read before the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, November, 1880. Published in the Transactions, Vol. I., p. 124. Octavo, 8 pp., with plates.
Steel. An article in Appleton's Cyclopædia of Mechanics, New York, 1880. Octavo, 15 pp.
· On Rail Patterns. A paper read before the American Institute of Mining Engineers, February 17th, 1881. Published in the Transactions, Vol. IX., p. 360. Octavo, 16 pp., with plates and tables.
The Bethlehem Iron and Steel Works. An article in London Engineering, October 28th, 1881.
ACTION OF THE CLEVELAND CIVIL ENGINEERS'
At a meeting of the Club held at Cleveland, O., February 14th, 1882, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted :
Resolved, That the members of the Cleveland Civil Engineers' Club have heard of the death of Alexander L. Holley with profound sorrow and regret.
Resolved, That in the death of Mr. Holley, the engineering profession of the world has lost one who not only contributed largely to the success of all industries connected in any way with metallurgy, being the father, as it were, of the Bessemer steel process in this country, whilst he also added largely to the highest order of our literature.
Resolved, That while he held a position among the highest of our profession, he will ever be remembered and mourned on account of his great personal worth and purity of character.
In presenting these resolutions, Mr. J. F. Holloway spoke as follows:
Mr. President: In presenting the resolutions at the opening of this meeting, I felt certain that I was but giving voice to the feelings of all members of this club who have had the pleasure of Mr. Holley's personal acquaintance, as well as those who knew him only by his published books, and by his accomplished works in the various steel and iron-mills of our country. To those of you who have felt the warm, hearty grasp of his hand, who have seen upon his face the ever-present genial smile, and who have listened to the sympathetic tones of his voice, a voice no less pleasant when expounding the most intricate theories of science, as when it sparkled with wit and humor, the news of his death will come with peculiar sadness. It is not my purpose to occupy the time of this Society with a recital of Mr. Holley's professional career; the technical journals and
magazines that lie upon your tables have with more or less accuracy informed you respecting that. Neither do I intend to speak of his standing as an engineer in other and foreign lands; the papers that will in a few days reach you, will tell of that also far better than I would be able to.
There is one aspect of his life and mission—I think I may call it a mission—about which I would gladly speak; and that is the rare combination there was in him, of the science of the savant, the practical knowledge of the workman, and the courtliness of the gentleman. Not content with possessing these rare qualifications in himself, he occupied the later years of his life in bringing about a new and better era of fellowship between science and practice in others. Standing as he did, the peer of anyone in the ranks of either, he made himself the connecting link between men whose lives had been passed among books only, and the man of practice, who picked his uncertain way over hard and Ainty roads, with patient toil and trial. It was his mission to bring the scientific man out from the libraries, colleges, and the laboratories, into the smoke and grime of the world's workshop. On the other hand, standing beside his fellow-workmen in the mine, the furnace, and the workshop, he told them that by study, by investigation, and by interviews with men of science, they could find many a clew to the difficulties that beset them from day to day. He told them, if they would go with him to the laboratory with their troublesome ores and metals, that the man of science would, by ways of his own, hunt and drive out the demons that so troubled and baffled them in the furnace, the forge, and the foundry, and in the various processes through which they so blindly chased them. And the man of practice, though ever distrustful of science, taking the advice of a fellow-workman, took his ores and his metals to the laboratory, where the man of science calcined them, triturated them, and sublimated them; he bathed them in acids, dried them in alkalis, and, melting them in crucibles, brought out a tiny button of metal, and a folio of profoundly written formulas, replete with figures which divided a unit into ten thousand parts. Out of all this, by comparing the results without understanding them, the workman saw that the more he had of some things, and the less he had of others, the better would be his iron and his steel, and in the end he had a higher regard for science, and a greater respect for the man of books; while on the other hand, the college professor, wandering among
the mills, furnaces, and workshops, was struck with the ingenuity and good sense displayed by the engineer, and thought the more highly of him.
But the mission of Alexander L. Holley meant more than this. He was not satisfied to simply bring each class to a better understanding and admiration of each other, he interested himself in the formation of societies where men of different professions but kindred pursuits, might meet together to tell of the work they had in hand. Sometimes to speak of their success, often of their troubles and their failures. By the discussions which have taken place in these societies, all have been made wiser. Indeed it is safe to say that out of the greatest failures often has come the greatest good. In these societies are often found members who, in long years of practice, have gathered valuable stores of knowledge, but being unaccustomed to put their thoughts into words, were simply silent though interested listeners. These were induced to write papers which also came before the societies for discussion, and record, and thus their printed transactions have come to be volumes of rare and valuable information, which not only does credit to their authors, but as well to the engineering literature of our country.
But there was still a further step taken. Mr. Holley in his numerous trips abroad, oftentimes the guest of similar societies, early saw the advantage that would accrue to the industries of our country, as well as to the men to whose labors these industries owe their origin and success, if they could only be induced to leave their daily round of duties, and joining with others, make excursions among
the mills and workshops of their fellow-workmen. Just how much good has grown out of this new departure can never be fully known, But it was not enough that the members of the societies should go, they must bring their wives with them, and those only who have availed themselves of these excursions, which have so happily combined business, instruction, and social intercourse, can in the least manner understand how enjoyable they have been, or how pleasant the acquaintances thus formed. I have spoken thus somewhat at length, but by no means exhaustively, of the modern scientist, engineer, and workman, that I might the more fully exemplify the part Mr. Holley has taken in bringing about so pleasant a state of affairs between them; and I do not hesitate to say that no man, no matter how high his position or his attainments, has done as much as did Alexander L. Holley to bind in one bond of kindly feeling and fellowship those who, as members and associates, have thus mingled together.
Among the many things he had doubtless planned for the future, and which, alas, are now unaccomplished, there was at least one, of which I knew, that it must have pained him to have left undone. It was this: he had hoped at some time in the near future to have brought before the various scientific and engineering societies of America, of which he was a member, a scheme by which they, joining together, should invite similar societies in England and on the Continent, to send large delegations of their membership to unite in a grand tour through the United States, to be passed from State to State, and from city to city, seeing in each their different and distinct industries, to be taken down into our mines, carried on our broad rivers, borne upon our vast inland seas, and across wide prairies, far westward through States and Territories teeming with untold wealth, to the very portals of the Golden Gate. It was to be the excursion of all excursions, it was to excel by its extended field of observation, its immensity of proportions, and the standing and character of its members, the grandeur and brilliancy of all past time. It was to be a millennium of good feeling, and of good cheer. All of you who have come in contact with, and enjoyed the companionship of that wonderfully genial and kind-hearted man, can easily imagine what a success it would have been, and how largely his personal endeavors would have contributed to make it so. But the times were not yet ripe for its accomplishment. Perhaps the severe illness that overtook him abroad a year or more ago and the enfeebled state of his health since had warned him it was not to be ; but let us at least give him credit for that largeness of heart which conceived the idea.
I have not said, neither did I intend to say, anything about what Mr. Holley has accomplished as an engineer. His works are his monuments. In many a valley from the Hudson to the Mississippi, from the mouths of numerous converters the lurid flames light up the hillsides, and write upon the midnight sky the wonders of his achievements. It was of Mr. Holley the man that I wished to speak; and as I remember his cheerful humor, his ready wit, the keen retort that left no wound behind, I feel how powerless I am to convey to ears unaccustomed to his voice, the magic of its tones. There was ever about him a coterie of choice spirits, and to have been a listener to the flow of good things that fell so unpremeditated from his lips was indeed a treat. There are times and occasions when words fitly chosen, harmonizing with the circumstances which surround speaker and listeners touched with a cadence of feeling and earnestness, bring to the heart of the hearer something deeper and wider in their significance than the same words would do spoken by other tongues and with different surroundings. And yet, knowing this as I do, I am tempted to relate an incident in Mr. Holley's life which I, in common with many others, witnessed and which none will ever for