INTRODUCTION TO MEEHANITE IN AFRICA

It is generally believed that MEEHANITE METAL resulted from research work done on reducing the annealing time of BLACK HEART MALLEABLE IRON.  This did not shorten the annealing time but did result in MEEHANITE METAL wich was produced consistently.  The process for producing this metal was patented in 1922 and was called MEEHANITE after Gus Meehan who had discovered this technique.  This happened in Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A.  However during the 1920s another man by the name of Oliver Smalley, a distinguished graduate of Sheffield University, was also doing similar research work on cast irons in Britain.  Oliver Smalley was invited to join the Ross-Meehan Company to develop other physical properties of Meehanite not covered by the original G A range and also set up precise control processes which were needed in order to achieve the desired strength and properties in the Meehanite Irons.

BRIEF HISTORY

Meehanite was introduced into South Africa in the mid 1930s and we have in our records a signed document to this effect by Mr Oliver Smalley.  We also have an agreement of one of our first licensees, namely (Thomas Begbie) Thos. Begbie & Co. (PTY) Ltd dating back to 22nd November 1939.

If we refer once again to 1939 we find another South African link with the U.S.A Meehanite Organisationin that another very distinguished graduate of Sheffield University was employed by the original Meehanite Company.  This was our very good friend Bill Moore who was going to join his father Arthur Moore in Standard Brass, Benoni, after having gained some experience with Meehanite in the U.S.A.  He eventually opted to stay in the U.S.A after serving Meehanite for some three years in India and he ultimately became President of Meehanite world wide.

In the late 1940s George Leslie Lewis (also a friend of Bill Moore) took control of Meehanite in S.A.  Mr Lewis ran the company very well until he sold the operation to Adrian Lionel Gray on 15th December 1975.  Mr Gray sold the S.A. Meehanite operation to Walter Desond Wiggill in November 1984.

OUTLOOK FOR THE FUTURE

The South African Licensees serve on as Advisory Board.  Each licensee is permitted one member to the Board.  This system is unique in the world of Meehanite and it was introduced for the first time when we changed the name from Meehanite Africa (PTY) Ltd to New Meehanite and Casting Materials (PTY) Ltd.  Whilst at present time the running of the Meehanite operation is done by Walter Desmond Wiggill, Brian Wiggill and Michael Low who represent a well balanced and very experienced foundry team, we hope to employ a young graduate metallurgist to assist in promoting Meehanite in Africa in the near future.