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tlineopen  Silver Ephemera & Documentation
tline3open  Wildberg Brothers of San Francisco

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Author Topic:   Wildberg Brothers of San Francisco

Posts: 4121
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 04-10-2008 08:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the bottom of a box of somewhat tatty ephemera, I found this little pamphlet. The firm, essentially a metal reclamation facility, was founded in 1907 and continued until 1980, processing the gamut of precious metals and selling the results as rolled and milled stock to manufacturers. In addition to the pages shown below, there are another four dealing with various chains, jewelery components, and tables of sheet metal specifications. From the typography and layout, I'd say the piece dates to the mid-1930s. Given that, it is interesting that they are still offering all their goods made to "coin" standard -- foreign sales?

And here is a picture of the actual plant

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Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 04-10-2008 09:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's California's account of events at the Wildberg site before and after its sale in 1980. The two brothers that ran the company for most of its history, Irving Isaac and Arthur Asa Wildberg, both passed away in the 1960's.
Site History
The Wildberg Brothers Site, (aka Boliden Metech) is an abandoned metal reclamation plant which operated at this location between 1907 and 1986. The site is approximately 5 1/2 acres in size. The Site was reportedly used as an antimony smelting plant which operated for an unknown duration beginning in 1875. The Site was purchased in 1907 by the Wildberg Brothers Company who operated a metal reclamation facility. The operations included milling, sampling, assaying of scrap materials, electrolytic deposition of silver, cyanide stripping of gold, and copper concentration. Gold, platinum, palladium, silver and copper were recovered as finished products. Wildberg Brothers sold the facility to Refinement International (RMI) in 1980. RMI primarily used the facility for precious metal scrap processing and refining. Stripping operations created a cyanide waste stream which was treated and discharged under permit to the sanitary sewer system. RMI sold the facility to Boliden Metech in 1983. Boliden used the facility primarily for precious metal scrap processing, but did not engage in refining operations at the Site. Operations conducted onsite consisted of material sorting, sampling, and assaying before the materials were containerized for shipment to Boliden facilities overseas for processing. Boliden processed approximately 5,000 pounds of spent cyanide stripping solution for gold recovery. The solution was pumped into a holding tank and zinc or aluminum was added to precipitate approximtely 95% of the gold. The remaining solution was evaporated, mixed with silica, fired, and the remaining silicate solids were shipped overseas for further processing. Boliden discontinued all operations at the site in May 1986. All buildings on the site, with the exception of Building 1, the Office Building, Building 2, the Laboratory; and Buildings 11-12, the Melt Shop, and Mechanical Processing area, were demolished at that time. In 1980 overflow from the lagoon was observed spilling onto adjacent property owned by the Healy Tibbitts Construction Company. Sediment and groundwater samples taken by Healy-Tibbitts at that time showed no soil or groundwater contamination had occurred. The lagoon/pond area was dredged and filled by Refinement International in 1981, under a dredging permit from the U.S. Corps of Engineers. In 1982 California Environmental Technology and Kaldveer Associates Inc. investigated soil contamination in the lagoon area. Based on the EPA report of the Healy Tibbits site, and the confirmation samples taken by DHS on the Wildberg Brothers Site, DHS certified that all known areas of contamination on the site had been remediated in November 1987. The certification covered only those areas that DHS was able to sample, and did not include the areas which had been built over. In 1988 Boliden demolished the remaining buildings on the Site. The San Francisco Bay, Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) required an investigation of possible groundwater contamination on the site. Kaldveer Associates then installed three monitoring wells on the Site, and reported concentrations of 8 parts per billion and 15 parts per billion of trichloroethene (TCE) in two of the wells.

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iconnumber posted 04-10-2008 10:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Beauty often exacts a terrible price.

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June Martin
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Posts: 1326
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 04-20-2008 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, based on a lecture we attended last fall by one of the founders of Ethical Metalsmiths, it sounds like the Wildberg Bros site was a relatively minor offender.

Ethical Metalsmiths

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