Wallace G. Woolf Papers, 1924-1980

Overview of the Collection

Wallace G. Woolf, 1890-1990
Wallace G. Woolf Papers
1924-1980 (inclusive)
1 cubic foot
Collection Number
MG375 (collection)
Articles, speeches, correspondence and patents of Wallace G. Woolf, metallurgical engineer at the Bunker Hill Mining Company.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Wallace G. Woolf was born March 9, 1890, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended local public schools and the University of Utah School of Mines, from which he graduated in 1912 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering. He worked briefly in Nevada then returned to the University of Utah as a recipient of the Co. E.A. Wall Research Fellowship. He specialized in zinc metallurgy and was awarded his M.S. in 1915. He remained at the university for another year as a U.S. Bureau of Mines Fellow, during which he continued his study of zinc. He then spent two years in industrial employment in Utah with the Holt-Dern Process Co. at Silver City, and the Virginia Smelting Co. of West Norfolk, Virginia.

Woolf joined the Bunker Hill Company in 1918, and was given the specific assignment to develop a process for handling the complex zinc ores of the Coeur d'Alene mining district. This he did, utilizing some Tainton-Pring patents with modifications and innovations worked out in the North Mill pilot plant. Encouraged by his results, in 1926 the company went ahead with construction of a zinc processing plant which he, with the help of U.C. Tainton, designed and built. Two years later, as a result of Woolf's research and guidance, the plant produced the first commercially available slab of special high grade 99.99 percent pure electrolytic zinc. He oversaw operations at the plant for almost 30 years, before becoming manager of metallurgy and later vice-president in charge of Kellogg operations, the position he held when he retired from Bunker Hill in 1960. In 1954 he supervised the construction of Bunker Hill's first sulfuric acid plant to treat roaster off-gases. He wrote many professional articles and was active in professional organizations, including serving as a director and vice-president of the Northwest Mining Association, and director of the American Zinc Institute. He was a past master of the Masons, a Shriner, and a member of Gyro International. In 1955 he was presented with Scouting's highest honor, the Silver Beaver Award, for his leadership over many years in Shoshone County Boy Scout activities. He received the National Society of Professional Engineers "Inland Empire Engineer of the Year" award in 1958.

Following his retirement he returned to Salt Lake City where he remained active as a lecturer at his alma mater, and also served as a metallurgical consultant. Woolf died in Salt Lake City on September 15, 1990.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The papers of Wallace G. Woolf span the years 1924 to 1980, with the bulk of the material covering the years 1929 to 1950.

Included are articles and speeches by Woolf, his notes on the refining of zinc, published articles on zinc, patent applications, and related material.

More information on the Bunker Hill zinc plant which Woolf helped to design and for thirty years manage, may be found in the records of the Bunker Hill Company, MG367.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The papers of Wallace Woolf were in no discernible order when received. Further examination of the records revealed that they were so diverse that making series assignments would be difficult, therefore the papers were sorted by type or subject and the folders placed in alphabetical order.

The folder headings are self-explanatory, however, some details should be mentioned. Most of the speeches and articles of Woolf are typescripts, but some also appear in published form. It should be noted that several of the typescripts are incomplete. A majority of the correspondence concerns arrangements for talks or articles, although there is one letter detailing the genesis of a 90th birthday card sent to Woolf. The folder for the Gyro Club includes photographs of his retirement party given by the club. The journals are single issues of various journals which Woolf retained; these are in alphabetical order by title.

The only materials discarded were duplicate copies of mimeographed or published material. This did not reduce the volume by a significant amount.

Acquisition Information

The papers of metallurgist Wallace G. Woolf were donated to the University of Idaho Library by the Hecla Mining Company at the request his daughter Jacqueline Woolf Rosenblatt in October 1993.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers
1 item
1/2 Armstrong, L.K. Rand Foundation Metal. Endorsement for Stanly Easton
5 items
1/3 Bunker Hill apprentice award ceremony
1 item
1/4 Correspondence
13 items
1/5 Development of the electrolytic zinc process
1 item
ca. 1924
1/6 Evans-Wallower zinc plant, report to Stanly Easton on
1 item
1/7 Gyro club
26 items
1/8-10 Journals
10 items
1/11 Mining Congress Journal, lead and zinc number featuring the operations of Bunker Hill & Sullivan Mining and Concentrating Company
2 items
November 1931
1/12 Manuscript notes
6 items
1/13 Mayvolume
1 item
1/14 Metals handbook updates
1 item
1/15 Miscellaneous
8 items
1/16 Miscellaneous articles
7 items
1/17 Patent: Electrolytic zinc -- patent digest and patent data
5 items
1/18-19 Metallurgical filter -- application, assignment, etc.
29 items
1/20 Research notes
1 item
1/21 Spokesman Review Magazine
1 item
October 6, 1946
1/22 Sullivan Mining Co., average grade of zinc produced and shipped
1 item
1929-1939, 1939
1/23 Sullivan Mining Co. Electrolytic zinc plant. Details of construction--capital account
4 items
1/24 Woolf, Wallace G., Information about
5 items
1/25 Woolf: Articles by
6 items
1/26 The outlook for zinc, Mining Congress Journal
9 items
1/27 Woolf: Speeches
3 items
1/28 Idaho Mining Association
6 items
1/29 Mining Institute, Seattle
11 items
January 16, 1947
1/30 North Idaho Chamber of Commerce
3 items
1/31 Northwest Mining Association
3 items
1/32 Northwest metals and minerals conference
4 items
1/33 Sulfuric acid plant
4 items
1/34 Washington society of professional engineers
1 item
1/35 Yesterdays mining, with illustrations by Buck O'Donnell
1 item
1/36 Zinc, Articles on
25 items
1/37 Zinc, Bunker Hill publications
6 items
1/38 Zinc Plant, 50th anniversary
13 items
1/39 Zinc Plant, Articles about
11 items
1/40 Zinc Plant manual
1 item

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Metallurgists -- Idaho -- Records and correspondence
  • Zinc -- Electrometallurgy

Corporate Names

  • Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining and Concentrating Company -- History -- Sources

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Woolf, Wallace G., 1890-1990--Archives.