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Diary (page 9)


It was necessary, so that one took charge of this new ore the crisis which affected the ore nickel by 1874 and made it totally missing. The English, lacking their common sulphurized ores were so the first to ask for our New Caledonian oxidized ore that it is enough, as we can say, some knocks of pickaxe to deliver to them in quantity exceeding soon their necessities. Speculation by getting involved, enormous stocks went to Europe and unsold articles piled up there. To increase confusion the English manufacturers pretended to consider this ore as difficult to reduce. It was impossible to contradict them because they had had the good spirit to hold secret their metallurgical methods and, due to this precaution, they enjoyed a monopoly which enriched them...

In spite of this complete lack of technical data I had, I may say it today, the courage to look by myself a mean to extract the metal off its gangue and, strangely, one of the first experiments which I made was exactly the one results of which opened the biggest horizons and classified the metal nickel among the most useful metals while, until then, its necessity was even debatable.


However this enthusiasm had no echo among the specialists who welcomed only very in the long run my assertions when they did not fight them a priori. But spirits were nevertheless prepared and by 1870 the steelworks of the whole world decided to make the steel with the nickel. I remember that, at this time, called in United States by the owners of a nickel mine, they were able to refrain from giving evidence of their surprise that after my papers so clear of 1876 about the superiority of steel and nickel alloys, as well as of molded, forged or rolled samples soon which I had exposed and which had given me the highest rewards, Europe had waited for so numerous years before applying this invention which had revolutionized the industry of the steel I did not hesitate to advise the manufacturers of the colony to build a furnace of big dimension in the country itself and I supplied a good part of the necessary capital; I sent from Bordeaux ( 1876 ) on two vessels all the elements of this foundry while an engineer and two foremen left by express traffic to pave the way so that on December 10, 1877, the furnace was put in fire and the first casting of ferronickel made in the presence of the governor, officers and of population of Nouméa. Due to this effort, the industry of the nickel became French.... I shall even allow reminding that a mines owner of the colony did not hide me that, without this foundry, he and his friends were ruined and were obliged to deliver their stocks of ore to the English for the price of the freight... "

Would there be anything to object, especially in these circumstances and the following ones, with being patriotic without blindness nor excess? On July 15,1870 war was officially declared to Prussia.

Jules Garnier took in it an active part in the head of a battalion of volunteers that he recruited among his colleagues mining engineers and the mineworkers. About this period of the life we are going to speak now.

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