Lecture Series: The Nordberg Steam Stamp

The Nordberg Stamp located on the grounds of WMMI is one of two remaining examples of this type of vintage rock crushing machine that was used predominately in the copper mining belt in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Mr. Phillips is a graduate of Michigan Technological University, also located in the same historic mining region. After attaining an engineering degree in 1968, he was employed for 45 years in mining and mineral processing activities. During his university years, the copper mining industry was still active in Michigan. This exposure instilled an intense interest in mining and metallurgy and, in particular, the historically important and textured history of Michigan copper mining.
Mr. Phillips worked as a student engineer during the summer of 1967 in the last operating stamp mill in the US and witnessed the operation of the Nordberg steam stamps and associated copper concentrating equipment.
The stamps fell silent forever fifty-four years ago this year. Their activity, sounds, vibrations, and smell exist only in the memory of those that were there.
Lecture on the Nordberg Steam Stamp:
The subjects Bob Phillips covers in this lecture will include a range of related topics for the purpose of placing such machines in the context of time and purpose. The lecture will provide insight as to the physical placement of the stamps and the nature of their function within the ore-milling process.
Topics included in his talk will include:
• Geology of the Michigan copper deposits
• Characteristics of the copper deposits
• The nature of stamps, how they work
• History of stamp development
• The big stamp mills
• Details of the WMMI stamp
Examples of native copper that was mined in Michigan will be displayed at the lecture to enhance the understanding of the evening’s topic.
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