Two of the titans of American industry discuss the potential manufacturing applications of nickel. "Nickel properties are getting as plentiful as blackberries, we shall have plenty of that material; a little of it goes a great way. We shall know all about it before long. It certainly does seem to give remarkable properties to steel; but except for armor-plate, the extra cost is an obstacle to its use; about four cents per pound. This is more than steel itself costs; but perhaps you will discover a means of reducing the cost."
At the time he wrote this letter, Carnegie was just beginning to refit his Homestead foundry to fulfill a contract to produce 6,000 tons of nickel-steel armor for the United States Navy. About a decade later, Edison was awarded several patents for battery systems that utilized nickel.
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