Exchanges with Rowan About Misunderstanding
To set the stage and understand what Rowan was feeling about me during the days when the chapters about "Jimmy" and the Soviets were written in Rowan's book. I am now sure Jack Smith was not aware of all the facts.
The reader should know that Rowan and "Jimmy" had many interfaces. At different times he was my supplier, competitor, customer, shareholder, technical adviser and in a sassy letter to me called me one of his guys. I think at times he was a friend and never was an enemy. He was never my boss.
The letters and notes that follow are almost one year after my resignation from the Inductotherm Companies. There was no hope of me doing any real business with the group.
Inductotherm Industries Inc.
10 Indel Ave.
Mr. James F. Metcalf May 10, 1988
47C Hamilton Road
It is a shame when a man burns all of his bridges. When you were working as an officer of Consarc, you persuaded Consarc to buy and pay for know-how from Carbon Technology Inc. in Knoxville, in order to obtain the technology that was to be the base for Calcarb. This was technology that neither you nor Consarc had prior to this acquisition . Following this, Calcarb paid for your learning the techniques that finally resulted in good material and Calcarb's present posture.
Your memo of April 4,1988 to Consarc's Board of Directors suggests that you feel free to take and use this technology for your own purposes through Allcarb Corp.
Now I understand that Consarc hired you as a paid consultant to represent their interests with the I.H.I. sale, you plan to breach this trust and take this customer for yourself. Your remark to Chris Gee by phone on May 7 suggests this.
You frequently said to me, "Trust me, Hank." Should I have listened to Nisbet instead of indeed trusting you? Jim, I think we should talk.
I had been out of Rowan's companies almost one year when this letter came in the mail to my house in Scotland. I could not resist teaching Rowan a little hillbilly.
James F. Metcalf
47c Hamilton Road
Motherwell, Scotland 11 May 1988
Mr. Henry M. Rowan
10 Indel Avenue
My father taught me a lesson about a mule. When the mule refuses to listen you can get his attention by hitting him between the eyes with a two by four. Hank, I think we should have been talking and acting on the Calcarb's future a long time ago.
Your letter of May 10,1988 has a coded message in the final paragraph. Nisbet fired me because I falsified a test certificate to MISCO. Allvac needed this shipment to keep the wolves from the door. I made the calculation for the melts, weighed the materials, ran the melt, stripped the molds, packed the ingots and then also made the faked entry as to the Boron content. Jim had good reasons to fire me.
The management group in Scotland prepared some false documents for the British government to obtain funds for the Calcarb operation. The words in those documents led the government to understand that the company would have the capacity to make rocket components. It is not difficult to understand why the British government bowed to pressure from the U. S. government. The left wing reporter from the Mirror in London may find these documents so Consarc must remain prepared for the bad press.
The management of Consarc Scotland agreed with me and set out to produce its own insulation for the Russian furnaces and isopresses. Based upon my recommendation, Mr. TR Dick and Mr. Crawford visited and arranged to by the know-how from Carbon Technology Inc. in Knoxville. The agreed price was $90,000. This purchase was made without board approval in the normal day to day business of the company. I believe that this amount is now written off the books.
The know-how transfer took place in Dec. 1983. I made no attempt to learn the "how". There is no way that I could utilize the present technology and present good posture of Calcarb. My Ideas go down another road and they may not work.
Four days before the scheduled arrival of Mr. Yamaguchi of IHI in Scotland, I had a long lunch with John Wilson, a director of Consarc and Calcarb. We discussed the future of what could and could not be between Consarc and myself. It was clear that Calcarb saw no reason to retain me in any way. The plastic furnace that I had promoted for the company was stalled with minor (or major) problems. Wilson could not foresee any need of my services in the near future.
Wilson was told of the IHI visit. Last year Mr. Yamaguchi had been helpful in finding some future clients for Calcarb in Japan. He arranged a visit to the aerospace section of IHI and spent a full day assisting me to explain Calcarb to the Engineers. Wilson agreed to arrange a quick walk through Calcarb and Consarc. He told me he would be away and to contact Jeff Wilson.
Mr. Yamaguchi had a very busy schedule in the U. K. but agreed to alter his plans to visit Consarc and Calcarb. When I called Jeff Wilson in the morning of the planned visit he told me that he knew nothing about it but would set it up.
He did not call me to say that we could not visit Calcarb. We were told in the companies lobby that the visit would not take place.
IHI hired Consarc to do an Engineering study based upon some very new Idea's for processing superalloys that I had in my mind. The sum was $50,000 that I understand has been paid. I agreed to do this work for Consarc for my proposed fee.
I was not pleased with Consarc's support in this study. The design got out of control and became too expensive and complex. My efforts were considerably greater than the amount billed to Consarc.
When it became clear that Consarc did not see any additional place for me on this project I agreed to become the project engineer for IMM. This caused some concern at Rancocas so I informed Mr. Yamaguchi that I would not accept a contract from him until the commercial arrangements to buy the equipment was completed. It was my understanding that Consarc would pay me for the time spent with IMM at the same price that I was going to bill them. When I submitted my bill it was not paid nor has my written request for an explanation been answered.
A more serious problem exists. It is my feeling that Consarc does not have the desire or ability to build the facility as I think it should be built. With the present situation I am not willing to give new designs to Consarc. Consarc has many internal problems that will hinder their future ability.
I do not wish to burn all my bridges. I would like to finish the task of the carbon operation under my control while at the same time giving my best to the future of the VIM which most people feel is a dead process.
Rowan saw that he had stepped into a hornet's nest with me and just maybe I was right. So he faxed me right back.
INDUCTOTHERM INDUSTRIES, INC.
Rancocas, New Jersey
May 12, 1988
It saddens me a bit to see one of our guys react irascibly to what should be minor frustrations. You hung up on me on the phone a while back. You stormed out of the Consarc Scottish facility with our customer in tow, and goodness knows what else. It suggests that you are much too tight and are not finding the quite pleasures in life that a near lifetime of outstanding work deserves or should win for a man.
We should not have to debate by fax the circumstances leading up to our present posture. On February 5 you and I met in my office together with Roberts. You were talking of engineering and purchasing the job then, even though the entire association with this customer had been developed as an officer and representative of Consarc. In conclusion, we agreed that you would act exclusively in Consarc interests in securing the order from this customer and that Consarc would pay you consulting fees for this service.
The Scottish visit was unfortunate, but perhaps the guys felt threatened by your declaration of competition. It could have been handled better by all parties.
Jim, I have the right to expect you to live up to your commitments and if you have problems with our obligations to each other, it would be nice to discuss them with me instead of somebody in Scotland. Why don't you take a Consarc day or two and come up and visit? It is important that we get together while fate is still in our hands.
I think Rowan knew I was writing a book by this time. There was no way Roberts would allow me to get my foot in the door and really no one could blame him.
To: Hank Rowan
From: Jim Metcalf
12 May 1988
You must know me as a fighter who will never seek the "quiet pleasures" as a way of life. You sent me to the dictionary with irascibly as you did several years ago with another adjective that you used to describe my personality. I shaved my face in your office to avoid a minor frustration to push the carbon business forward.
I intend to become the leader of the age that brings a cheap carbon form with protective coatings into the market place. Calcarb would be the best place to do that. I understand the conflicts that this could cause Inductotherm and I am attempting to find a joint venture situation. No one has the time to talk and no one will act until you are sold.
Talking in Rancocas will do no good due to the demands upon your time but I will agree to try after 27 May if we can arrange a time when your schedule is not so demanding.
IMM may not purchase a five ton furnace at this time. Their production requirements could be filled with a one ton furnace. I hope to show the world a new process so that IMM can find a market that will aid the world's producers of superalloy and give IMM the need for a five ton furnace for the new mother alloy.
I HAVE TAKEN NO ACTION YET SO ALL THE COMMENTS TO DATE ARE JUST WORDS. TURNING ME AWAY FROM A VISIT TO CALCARB WITH A CUSTOMER IN HAND WAS A STUPIDITY. I DID NOT STORM AWAY BUT EXCUSED OURSELVES WITHOUT ANY SHOW OF ANGER.
The understanding of how to pay me at Consarc continues to be their problem. It seems only fair to pay me what the customer would have paid me with the understanding that the funds would be recovered at the time of settlement of the terms of the contract. I have not signed a contract with IMM nor have they paid me any expenses.
The fundamental problem remains how to proceed with my carbon objectives without bumping into your understanding of my commitments to you.