Historical Articles

May, 1953 issue of Plating


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Subject: Electroplating in New Zealand

Our trip to Australia was scheduled to start on February 3 but an attack of flu compelled me to postpone our departure till February 9, and to cancel a scheduled talk to the Dallas-Fort Worth Branch. In Los Angeles, I spoke to the A. E. S. Branch.

When we originally planned to spend a week in New Zealand en route to Australia, I had no knowledge or thought of any electroplating industry in that country. However, officials of the New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) learned of my visit and requested me to give the following talks on the research work of the N. B. S. and A. E. S. :

Feb. 20—Auckland Manufacturers’ Association, including a group of platers
Feb. 23—A joint meeting of the N. Z. Institute of Chemistry and the Royal Society of New Zealand at Victoria University College in Wellington
Feb. 2 The Manufacturers Association and Electroplaters of Wellington
Feb. 26—The Manufacturers Association and Electroplaters of Christ Church

At each of these meetings there were about 30 persons present and many questions were asked after each lecture.

With so short a time as one week in New Zealand, it was not possible for me to make any detailed study of electroplating practice here. There are no large manufacturing plants in New Zealand, and hence no large plating plants. In the three principal cities, there are a total of about 50 plating shops, some of which are quite small. In each city the platers have an informal group, organized under the Manufacturers’ Association, but not affiliated with any society.

A few plating plants are connected with manufacturing firms; others are job platers, whose work may consist partly of new products and partly of replating.

Most of the plating supplies, bright nickel baths and equipment are purchased from England, largely because funds can be sent from New Zealand to other “sterling” countries, but not to others such as U. S. A. I did not learn of any members of the A. E. S. here, again in part because they cannot send out funds. I learned of only one copy of PLATING here in the DSIR office in Wellington. This government organization is assisting various industries, and inquiries were made as to how they might help electroplating.

Among other ways, I suggested the organization of classes for platers, and the acquisition and distribution of more literature on plating from England and U. S. A.

New Zealand is a young, vigorous country that is handicapped in plating, as in many other fields, by their isolation, being about 10,000 miles from U. S. A. or England and 1,500 miles from Australia. The country is larger than one would first judge from a map, but is very mountainous, with marvelous scenery. Everywhere, Mrs. Blum and I have been very cordially welcomed and entertained by platers’ groups. Our only regret is that we did not include a longer visit here.

In Auckland, we were met and assisted by the American Consul. In Wellington, we were greeted by the American Ambassador, Mr. Scotten and his military aide, Col. Heim.

Christ Church, New Zealand

Subject: First Impression of Australia

Three weeks in Australia have given Mrs. Blum and me an opportunity to form some idea of the country, the people and the activities.

The best way to record our enthusiasm over the friendliness and hospitality of our hosts is to summarize briefly the events of our busy schedule.

When we arrived at the Melbourne Airport on February 27, we were met by the A. E. S. Convention Committee and their wives, who gave us a cordial welcome. Two days later, this Committee and the Executive Board of the Melbourne Branch gave a tea for us at which we became acquainted with these men and their wives.

They provided for us a daily schedule of plant visits, lectures and sightseeing trips, which have kept us busy and happy.
The first week was spent largely in visits to become acquainted with the officials of the Defence Department, the General Motors-Holden plant, the American Consulate, the U. S. Military Attache, and others who helped to plan the program. We had the pleasure of visiting Mr. Brens, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, who invited us to have “tea” with him.

Our second week was spent in Tasmania, the southernmost location in our trip. At Hobart and Launceston, lectures on electrodeposition and on corrosion were given to local branches of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. At Hobart, a visit was made to the Electrolytic Zinc Works, the second largest in the world, that produces daily 300 tons of zinc and a ton of cadmium. There are almost no plating plants in Tasmania, where the principal products are sheep and apples.

We returned to Melbourne on March 15. On March 17, a lecture on Corrosion Testing was given to a large meeting of the Melbourne Chemical Institute. Following the lecture and discussion, the films on corrosion, prepared by Frank La Que of International Nickel Company, were shown.

My first formal contact with the Melbourne Branch of A. E. S. was on March 19, when their meeting was attended by 110 persons. I was much pleased to be made the first Honorary Member of the Melbourne Branch. I also had the honor of presenting past-president buttons to eight past presidents of this Branch. I gave a lecture, illustrated with slides, upon the “Electroplating Researches of the ;National Bureau of Standards”, which was followed by questions and discussions.

We have had remarkably clear weather. This is the beginning of-Fall, and cool weather is expected, as we did experience in New Zealand’ and Tasmania. But in Melbourne in the past few weeks they have had a hot spell, with temperatures up to 101° F. Mrs. Blum feels that this was’-done for her special benefit, as she dislikes cold weather.

Thus far, I have visited only a few plating plants, most of these are relatively small, but modern methods and equipment are in use.

The local members have expressed their appreciation to the A. E. S. Executive Board for their interest in and contribution toward; this trip. We feel that such contacts as these will not only establish a closer and more cordial contact between the A. E. S. and its Australian Branches, but will also contribute toward a better understanding between our nations, now so important to this troubled world. We are happy and proud to do our small part in this effort.


Subject: Dr. Schaefer’s Proposal for Proceedings

Dr. Ralph Shaefer’s proposal in the March issue of PLATING to consolidate all the technical publications of the Society in one bound’ volume issued annually, without curtailing in any way the monthly publication of PLATING as it now appears is to be highly commended. It should be particularly appreciated after last year’s Proceedings (1951), which indexes several convention papers and then refers the reader to one or more issues of PLATING where the paper and discussion were published, sometimes in two issues.

Speaking as one member, am heartily in’ favor of Dr. Schaefer’s proposal and would be willing to pay extra to get it, but since it is offered at no extra cost, I can see no valid reason for not adopting it.

Very truly yours,




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