History of Electric Induction Heating

Table of Contents

This Chapter

By James Farol Metcalf

The father of induction melting and heating, Edwin Finch Northrup, received his Ph.D. in 1895 from John Hopkins University.


He studied under Professor Rowland where he continued to expand the meanings and applications of electricity. He was born in Syracuse, NY in 1866 and later attended Amherst College where he studied chemistry and philosophy. He graduated in 1891 before studying at the department of physics of Cornell University where he took courses in physics and mathematics as an assistant to E.L. Nichols who was doing research on "The Time Infinitesimal". His first on the job experience with electricity was at Queen & Company who were developing American designs of electrical measuring instruments. He applied for two patents and contributed to the technical press before entering John Hopkins.

Northrup may have known Rowland through James Queen of Philadelphia. A.C. Crehore left Hopkins for Cornell in 1891 or 1892 to join Frederick Bedell to work on alternating currents and motors. These gentlemen may have influenced Northrup to attend John Hopkins. Northrup's thesis, An original investigation in electricity, was completed in his first year and appeared later in the Philosophical Magazine. His Ph.D. thesis that was written in 1895 used high frequency to measure specific inductive capacity of glass and paraffin.

The Northrup thesis is dry but the mechanism he used to produce the spark-gap for the necessary high frequency is very revealing. Northrup rigged up a way to keep the steel balls rotating to move the arc point.

After graduation Dr. Northrup found a job as chief engineer electrical plant that produced "Monocyclic" electric power for Ontario & Daly Mining Company in Utah. He remained in Utah and Montana in miscellaneous practical electrical work until the fall of 1896. He was accepted as head of the department of physics in the University of Texas. While occupying this chair he carried out an investigation of inductive losses in the transmission of alternating current that was published in1897. While in Texas he invented the "Northrup Oscillating Current Galvanometer". His next job was with Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company where he worked on the standardization and design of alternating-current instruments.

Northrup's time in the western United States shows up in his fiction in great detail.

Northrup wanted to return to work with Rowland but feared that quitting the Texas University position would put him in a bad position wrote the following letter to Rowland. "I am not unmindful of the extraordinary kindness which you have shown to me and I shall ever be most grateful for it, but I feel that by my conduct in leaving my position in Texas, to which you so unqualifiedly recommended me, I have forfeited my right to ask for any further support from you. If, however, I learn that in developing your telegraph system I may be of service to you..."

In 1898 Northrup obtained the position with Rowland in the development of his alternating-current multiplex printing-telegraph system. Machines for a system between Berlin and Hamburg were designed and built from Northrup's efforts. His work on telegraph system was recognized by the grant of a medal by the Paris Exposition of 1900.

Admiration of the German political system and the German engineer shows up in Northrup's book written in the thirties. This might be one of the reasons it was withdrawn from bookstores in the 40's after his death.

Many engineers of the time thought that all modern things had already been invented and nothing new would come in the next century because we could not utilize all the things that had been invented in the previous fifty years.

Life expectancy was 47 years and many new medicines had been patented. It was time to relax and live a little. A few prepared for the end of time as 1899 closed.

Alternating electric current was quick to take over the lamp market because the generated voltage could be high and then stepped down by simple transformers for the user. Direct current was not dead because the induction motor was not ready for the electric streetcars already in service. Several things had to be sorted out like which frequency to use and how to distribute the power.

Sixty cycles in the USA and fifty cycles in Europe became the standard. The final selection was not perfect but without some standard the industry could not grow.

Edison's lamp and Niagara generation caught the eye of the world press but it was the Europeans that were in the lead on the technical side of electrical engineering.

Stability under Bismarck allowed scientists in Germany to become the best in the world. The Jews in the area with a superior education were leaders in many fields. Bismarck allowed the socialist movement to grow.

The political map of the world in 1900 showed America's colors on Cuba and the Philippines. Germany extended into parts of Poland that was no longer on the map and across to Amsterdam. Russia controlled Finland, most of Poland and all the area above the Black Sea except Bulgaria and Romania who they helped in the liberation from the Ottoman Empire a few years earlier. Turkey controlled much of Arabia, Egypt and the southern Balkans (Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo). India under the British Empire controlled the whole area to Iran in the west and Burma and Cambodia to the East. Siam was a nation and Annam was Vietnam. China was split up between Russia, England, Germany, Japan, and France. Africa was a checkerboard of Colonial powers. Austria was combined with Hungary with borders with Italy and Switzerland to the west and a little country called Serbia to the east.

America along with other powers got involved with the Boxer Revolution in China. Germany and England made a pack to keep trade open to China to settle the affair.

Most Americans would not know this little history had it not been for a film that showed Charlton Heston riding in to save the British.

Kristian Olaf Birkeland (1867-1917 Oslo) obtained patents on an electromagnetic-rail-gun in 1900. His best gun produced a projectile speed of about 300 feet per second.

In 1901 President McKinley was shot in Buffalo where he had visited the new generating station. His killer was sentenced to death by in a Westinghouse electric chair using alternating current. Edison commented that that was the only application where AC was useful.

That same year Carnegie sold his steel interests to Morgan who had just purchased the Rockefeller steel holdings and set up US Steel.

In 1902 the US purchased the Panama Canal and the Aswan dam wascompleted on the Nile. Newspapers reported that the Serbs and Croats were fighting and the Serbian King and Queen were assassinated. Labor was in turmoil all over Europe and Mussolini was being watched because he was preaching Karl Marx.

In 1903 the Wright brothers flew a heavier-than- air powered airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Captain Weaver built a dam on the French Broad in 1903 to provide additional power to the Asheville area. In 1903 Vanderbilt constructed a steam-powered generator in the Biltmore section of Asheville to power the electric trolley cars that took the guests to his estate. At the same time he installed an underground cable system to the estate. In 1908 he sold this system to the Asheville Electric Company.

In 1903 newspapers reported the mass slaying of 50,000 Bulgarians by the Turkish troops in Macedonia. Russia and Austria agreed on ways to stop the Turks from attacking Bulgaria. The press of the time paid little attention to the Armenian revolution and the appalling slaughter of more than a million Armenians before the end of World War I.

The government of Russia tried to stop the Communist revolutionary movement by initiating a war with Japan.

After months of violent anti-Semitic campaigns an organized protest against the Jews broke out in 1903. Forty-five people were murdered and 1,300 homes and shops plundered. When the perpetrators received only light sentences it became clear to the Jews that these protests were an instrument of government policy. They begin to form self-defense units. These units in the communes would become the backbone structure to muster the citizen Red Army for the revolution. In 1904 the Trans-Siberian railroad was completed but the line was quickly closed due to a Japanese victory in the war.

After setting up the Bolshevik Marxist Party at a meeting in London Lenin came to St Petersburg to take control of the revolutionary struggle. In December 1905 he directed the 1st conference of the Bolsheviks. Later that year Czar Nicholas and Kaiser Wilhem agreed to a defensive alliance between Germany and Russia to counter the English French alliance.

The worst violence against the Jews in Russia was after the Czar was forced to grant a constitution in October 1905 when almost a thousand people were killed and many thousands wounded. Because there is no sign of change in the Czar's policies and as the protests took place with apparent approval by the authorities, a feeling of despair spread among the Jewish communities.

In 1905 Weaver installed alternating current generators on the Ivy dam 15 miles from Asheville North Carolina to provide electric power for the growing streetcar business in the area. My great Uncle Bill Metcalf had the contract to haul these generators from Marshall to the dam using horses and a wagon.

In 1906 the Czar allowed a constitution that would mean a parliament elected by the people much like the British. He did not agree to give up property that his family owned and maintained the right to declare war and conscript an army. He did agree to start a system of land reforms that would allow ownership of land for the farmers. It appeared that Russia might finally be on the road toward modern limited government, but the "little father" later reneged on his concessions and ordered his troops to fire on masses that were marching in protest.

What was not reported in the news of 1906 was the birth of Charlie Metcalf in the Bull Greek region of Madison County. He was born on February 6, 1906 as the sixth child of John Metcalf Jr. on a Metcalf hollow farm that had been purchased by John Metcalf Sr. in 1874.

My father was very interested in history of all types. In his later years he did research on the first road from East Tennessee to Asheville, NC. This road was very near to his place of birth and my childhood home. THIS MAY BE INTERISTING FOR THE LOCALS AND MY FAMILY.


The first commercial electric arc furnace in the United States was installed in 1906. An arc furnace uses a carbon electrode to draw an arc like a large welding machine to heat and melt the steel.

In 1907 Dr. Carl Hering observed that a liquid conductor squeezed inward as electric currents flowed through it. With increased currents he noted that the metal would squeeze open. He called this the "pinch effect". Hering was born in Philadelphia, Pa in 1860. He earned a degree from the University of Pennsylvania and later studied electrical engineering in Germany where he received a Ph.D. in 1886. He returned to Philadelphia and established an office as consulting engineer. The first steps in organizing the American Electrochemical Society were taken in Dr. Hering's home. For the real technical readers the following web site is a good one. For non technical readers the sketches are understandable.


The discovery of the pinch effect is an important event in the history of melting furnaces as built by Ajax and Inductotherm in later years.

Northrup became a member of the Electrochemical society and a large part of his fiction explains this club.

Following Hering Northrup completed experiments on motion of a pointed copper conductor floating in a mercury trough. When a current of approximately 400 amperes was passed through the trough the rod submerged and was propelled along the trough with the blunt end first regardless of the direction of the current flow. He presented a paper, "Some newly observed manifestations of forces in the interior of an electric conductor", at the Physical Society in New York in 1907. (Phys. Rev., V.24, 1907, p.474-97) One year later he received a patent for "Method of and means for utilizing the pressure in the interior of an electric-carrying current".

On June 1, 1907 the fifth Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party was held in London. That same year there was an alliance of France, Britain, and Russia against the alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.

Production of the Model T Ford started in 1908. Taft was elected president and a three year old child became the Emperor of China.

With Marx and Engels in their grave and the steady improvement in the human condition of peoples living under the capitalist system Lenin realized that the worldwide Communist movement would not succeed. He shortened his message to peace, bread, and land for the masses. He began to preach a concept of "dictatorship of the common man, and "from those in accordance with their abilities and to those according to their needs." This was more akin to Jesus Christ than to Marx. In June 1912 he moved from Paris to Krakow, where he supervised publication of the Bolshevik newspaper "Pravda". During this time he developed a program on the nationalities question. Krakow in the Ukraine was in the center of Jewish leaders and Lenin needed the support of the Jews and their highly organized self-protection forces. His support of a new government that would allow equality for all nationalities won the support of the Jews.

In February 1911, the liberal and socialist factions in the Russian Third Duma introduced a proposal to abolish the Pale of Settlement. In the same year the Balkan Wars began and Bulgaria saw a chance to expand its territory to include Serbia and Macedonia.

My mother, Lessie Mae Boone, was born on March 6, 1911.

Captain Weaver built another dam at Redmon just below Marshall North Carolina in 1911. The lights were turned on and a trolley car started to operate. Just before the French Broad flooded and damaged his dams in 1916 he built a 13,000 kW coal burning station just north of Asheville. He had already constructed a high voltage transmission line from the coal burner station from Redmon to Asheville so power was not interrupted while he repaired the dams. My Uncle Stewart Metcalf operated this power station when I was a young boy.

These and other generating stations were the Weaver Power Company that supplied most of the electricity to western North Carolina until his widow sold them in 1923.

In 1912 the Ajax Metal Company started the development of an electric furnace based on Hering's pinch phenomenon. This company was founded in 1880 by a scrap dealer, Francis J. Clamer, who melted scrap copper, lead and zinc to produce the first leaded bearing bronze for the market. His son, Dr. Guilliam H. Clamer, owned and led the company until he sold it in 1959 to Magnethermic. Northrup credits Clamer in his fiction.

In 1912 there was massacre in Russia's Lena gold field from which Lenin took his pseudonym. Trotsky was the editor of the socialist newspaper Pravda in Vienna. This newspaper printed articles by Lenin. In 1914 Saint Petersburg renamed "Petrograd". At the end of July 1914 Lenin was arrested by the Austrian police, but was soon released and left for Switzerland. During the 1st World War he promoted the slogan of converting imperialist into civil war.

Vanderbilt built an upscale hotel in the center of Asheville. Other interests built the world-famous Grove Park Inn and its golf course. The area became a Mecca for the rich and famous. Twenty passenger trains arrived every day at the Biltmore station. Guest lists included the most powerful men of the time. This flow of this money into Asheville dried up in the early 1930's after the stock market crash.

The twentieth century's first global conflict was Austria's declaration of war against Serbia on July 28, 1914. A war between Austria and Serbia meant a war between Austria and Russia, Serbia's traditional ally. The Czar declared war.

By the Grace of God


Emperor and Autocrat

Of All the Russias,

Czar of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, etc., etc., etc.,

Declare to all Our loyal subjects: Impossible as it seemed, but treacherously preparing from the very beginning of the war, Bulgaria has betrayed the Slav cause: The Bulgarian army has attacked Our faithful ally Serbia, bleeding profusely in a struggle with a strong enemy. Russia and Our allied Great Powers tried to warn Ferdinand of Coburg against this fatal step. The fulfillment of an age-old aspiration of the Bulgar people - union with Macedonia - has been guaranteed to Bulgaria by a means more in accord with the interests of the Slav world. But appeals by the Germans to secret ambitions and fratricidal enmity against the Serbs prevailed. Bulgaria, whose faith is the same as Ours, who so recently has been liberated from Turkish until recently, and draw their swords against her with heavy hearts, leaving the fate of these traitors to the Slav world to God's just retribution.

That meant war between Russia and Germany drawing in France and Great Britain. In a flash, the whole continent was at war. The first major battle between Russia and Germany occurred when German forces surrounded and destroyed the Russian army at the Battle of Tannenberg. This August 1914 engagement proved to be Germany's greatest victory of the war.

With his standing army in tatters the Czar began to conscript a civilian force from the population under his control. After firing on his own citizens in 1907 he did not have the moral authority or the popularity to form an effective army. This war was not in defense of the motherland but to support their brother Serbs to the south.

On April 24th, 1915, an amphibious force of British, French, Australian, and New Zealand troops landed on the Turkish peninsula. Their aim was to knock Moslem Turkey out of the war. The world was going to war and Washington had not made up its mind.

Among other things Einstein in 1915 concluded, in effect, that light coming from the sun was matter and therefore controlled by gravity and Newton's laws could hold. The speed of light became his point for calculations of conversion of matter to energy and since the number is so big it works reasonably well. The human brain cannot handle infinity but it can understand the speed of light multiplied by the speed of light. He stumbled and bumbled his way into fame. Without his lover Marie the first article of his theory would not have been published.

Einstein changed his theory many times in twelve years until he got other thinkers to add and agree. About seven years after his great revelation he wrote: "... in all my life I have not labored nearly so hard, and I have become imbued with great respect for mathematics, the subtler part of which I had in my simple-mindedness regarded as pure luxury until now."

Einstein had reached the final version of general relativity after a slow road with progress but many errors along the way. In December 1915 he said of himself: "That fellow Einstein suits his convenience. Every year he retracts what he wrote the year before".

In disgust with Einstein changing and guessing his way through to the end of his theory one his fellow scientist wrote to another: "Your remark, 'I have congratulated Einstein on his brilliant results' has a similar meaning for me as when one Freemason recognizes another by a secret sign."

Just like man thought the earth was the center of the universe the Einstein theory will fall by the wayside in the future and nobody will care or notice. The speed of light has been exceeded.

In 1916, James R. Wyatt, a mechanic with Ajax Metals Company constructed a refractory lined container with a loop at the bottom. This loop was the secondary of a transformer that picked up current just like a transformer. In the loop was molten brass that became a resistor that transferred heat to the molten pool in the container above it. The shape of the loop and the head of metal above overcame the pinch effect. This was the start of the "fireless and wireless" furnace that quickly replaced fuel fired furnaces around the world for melting brass.

The first high frequency induction furnace was constructed in 1916 at Princeton's Palmer Laboratory by Northrup. He had been a professor of physics at Princeton since 1910. After leaving Rowland he joined with Leads to form Leads and Northrup where the type K thermocouple and potentiometer for measuring temperature was built. The fact that alternating current heated a conductor near the current flow was not new and was a pain in the neck for all designers of electrical equipment.

Northrup was among the first to exploit the fact that high frequency alternating current could be used to heat thin metal. Using a spark gap converter that was conceived by others he was able to use the high voltage and high frequency output to heat small pieces of metal in a coil.

Patent number 1189725, "Method of & apparatus for producing high temperatures", was issued 4 July 1916 to Northrup.

Ajax history records the event: "The patent examiner in Washington could not believe the claims Northrup made and had rejected the application as "Inoperable" The patent attorney arranged a demonstration for the examiner at Princeton: an earthenware pot wound with several turns of ordinary lamp cord with a piece of metal inserted in the pot. As Dr. Northrup energized this furnace, the metal became red, then white, and finally formed a molten pool. Convinced, the patent examiner allowed a patent with very broad claims."

The war brought America out of a rescission and the economy began to produce many technical advances. Stainless steel was introduced and electricity used to produce a wide range of metals and alloys industry.

After two years the battle lines of the Western front of World War I had barely changed from the first days of stalemate. The Eastern front was a different story battles resembled fluid engagements of the 19th century. The conscripted soldiers killed more of their officers than they did the enemy and a large percentage of them disserted. The Germans and Austrians turned their attention to the French lines.

By 1916 Russia had an uninterrupted rail service to Vladivostok as the world's longest railroad.

Following the bourgeois-democratic revolution of April 1917 Czar Nicholas abdicated the throne.

Early in 1917 the Germans allowed a sealed train carrying Lenin from Switzerland to the Russian border. At about the same time Trotsky arrived from New York. Lenin moved to Petrograd and planed the socialist revolution while hiding. During this time he developed a plan for the proletariat to seize power by means of an armed uprising. On October 23rd at a session of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party a resolution put forward by Lenin regarding the armed uprising was passed. He was elected head of the Soviet Government.

On March 3, 1918 the Russian government raised their hands in defeat and agreed to give up all territories except Mother Russia. Poland and Finland became independent others like Ukraine were caught up in the civil was and became part of the USSR.


On 11th March 1918, together with the Party Central Committee and the Soviet Government, Lenin moved to Moscow, which then became the capital of the Soviet State.

America declared war in April 1917 and sent troops under the command of General John Pershing to the Western Front. By July 1918 there were over a million US soldiers in France. More than 2 million troops eventually reached Europe but a large number arrived too late to see any action. The Americans suffered 264,000 casualties, including 50,554 killed in battle and about 25,000 by disease.

The civil war that broke out in support of the Communist caused concern in Capitalists countries and with organized churches. American, British and Japanese divisions landed on Soviet soil just after the end of World War I in support of the Czar. Historians called this the unknown war and it was not in American public school history books. Soviet history books recalled the invasions as attacks by the imperialist. After four bloody years the Communist finally won the war and murdered the Czar and his family.

In 1918 a dam was built in the valley near Asheville, NC that drains Haywood County. The Pigeon River was smaller than the French Broad but provided the electricity needed for Canton Paper Company and American Enka being built in the area. The next valley to the west is the headwaters of the Little Tennessee and in 1919 a large dam was built. This 215-foot dam produced 90,000 horsepower that was enough to supply all the needs of Tennessee. The Aluminum Company of America used this and other dams on the western slopes of the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina to refine aluminum from bauxite mined in the East Tennessee region.

Most of Madison County North Carolina was without electricity. The Mars Hill College Quarterly in December 1919 prints: "Electric lights in the rooms of our dormitories, on the campus, in the church, dining room, auditorium, and society halls, have been the source of comfort and convenience, in spite of breaks in service. How did we ever get along without them?"

In 1920 Northrup joined Ajax Metals Company as Vice President of Ajax Electrothermic Company in Trenton New Jersey. He was already running a company in the area called Pyro-electric Instrument Company. Business at Ajax had been good and sales of the channel loop furnace for brass caused Ajax to look to other type furnaces for iron based alloys.

The basis for Northrup's furnace was a power supply that used a mercury spark gap to produce a high frequency (25,000 cycles) and high voltage (8000 volts) that could be used to heat small pieces of metal or melt them in a refractory crucible.

The first commercial use of Northrup's patent was to heat the filaments inside the large radio tubes Westinghouse was producing at that time.

The coil surrounding the radio tube had electrical current flowing through it and the metal in the tube became the secondary of the transformer and became hot with any wires connected to them. Tudbury shows and tells us how in a sketch.

The next customer was General Electric for a melting operation to produce Alnico (aluminum, nickel, cobalt) magnets for radio speakers. This required melting the mix.

Rowan tells it a little different in his book, The Fire Within.

"Ever since the beginning of the Bronze Age, man had been melting metal by using heat; first, heat derived from fire from various sources, then, a few millennia later, heat via carbon electrodes. The carbon arc furnaces were technological dragons, roaring and spewing forth flames and smoke as they turned scrap or ore into liquid.

Dr. Northrup, with his "fireless, wireless furnace," had unlocked the secret to melting via electromagnetic fields, by which process the metal itself becomes its own heat source. If the old processes were awe-inspiring, induction was mystifying, an invisible dragon. A man could place his hand inside an electromagnetic field, and feel no discomfort whatsoever, unless he was wearing a ring or watch, which, if left in the field, would rapidly heat up and melt off, perhaps along with a finger or a wrist."

Rowan allowed his writer to get a little carried away here. Melters have worn rings and watches around induction equipment for years and I doubt if one of them has felt any heat on his finger or wrist. The metal does not become a heat source but rather the heating element in which current flows causing it to get hot and finally melt.

Research departments of steel companies and universities were the first customers for these new gadgets. At some point Northrup worked with Steinmetz or his staff to produce a generator for 3,000 cycles. The spark gap was limited to a 20-pound furnace and 3,000 cycles could be used up to 500-pound melts. Later generators were built for 1,000 cycles that could be used for furnaces up to 5,000-pounds.

In Rowan's book there are many comments about his competitor, Ajax, assisting the Japanese and Germans before World War II. In fact it was the Germans that were first to build large sized induction furnaces.

Northrup, like many others, had blinders and paid little attention to the use of coreless line frequency (60-cycle) (50-cycle in Europe) as a way of melting. Vacuum melting started the transition from the laboratory to the shop floor in l9l7, when Rohn melted nickel-base alloys by resistance heating. In 1923 Heraeus Vacuumschmelze in Germany was founded, and by 1926 were operating two 4-ton units with a 350-kW line frequency power supply that produced thermocouple materials and resistance heating alloys. With the defeat of the Ottoman Empire the League of Nations gave Great Britain the Mandate for Palestine in July 1922. In September it was decided that setting up a Jewish national home would not apply to the area east of the Jordan River. This land eventually became the Kingdom of Jordan. The Jewish population in Israel began to grow with immigrants primarily from Russian to move into the communes.

In 1927 the Carolina Power and Light Company built a 66,000-volt line from the Redmon Dam to the Cane River. This power line was a small part of the national grid that would be completed much later. Steinmetz was credited with solving the problems of lightning strikes that plagued the industry during the early part of the century shortly before his death in 1923.

In my early youth I marveled that power was in that line near our house and we had kerosene lamps.

In 1930 after the stock market crash the Capitola textile mill in Madison County North Carolina was in receivership but 8,816 spindles were being mechanically powered by a dam across the French Broad at the upper end of Marshall. My Uncle Chauncey Metcalf operated a small generator on that dam in the early 1940's. Only 340 homes in Madison County had electricity at that time and most of those were located in Marshall, Mars Hill, and Hot Springs. French Broad Electric Membership Corporation acquired this facility from Northwest Carolina Utilities in 1942 and continued to operate it until 1957. In 1985 they obtained the necessary funds and permissions to install two 1,000-kW generators that utilize most of the flow of the river. The fish ladder they were required to install at the time is no longer in operation because it was determined that there were no native migratory fish in the river.

In the Petersburg and surrounding area my grandfather was the country lawyer and banker including figuring of poll taxes required to be paid by all voters. By the end of World War 1 grandpa and grandma, Christine Corn, had a work crew of eight boys and two girls. His oldest girl married Oss Edmonds in 1919 shortly after he bought the country store at Petersburg. He had already operated a rolling store in Madison County using a horse and wagon to sell produce in exchange for eggs, chickens, butter, and other items that people had to sell. In 1920 Uncle Oss bought a truck and expanded his rolling store business. In 1925 he received a large sum of money from his mother's estate and established the largest department store in the county.

During and after prohibition vast quantities of corn mash whisky were distilled in this mountain county. To avoid being caught in the transportation of this illicit liquid, the mountain men modified their cars for high speeds on the winding mountain roads. They began to race each other and the sport of stock car racing was born.

The Marshall Record had a little story about my father on April 5, 1930:

"Bessie Mae Kent, a small girl for Bull Creek, had been missing for two weeks. A $100 reward was offered for her return or information as to her whereabouts. Charlie Metcalf was charged with her kidnapping"


This backward county was where James Farol Metcalf (first son of Charlie and Lessie) was born in August 1931 shortly before the death of Edison.