William Philip Chinn

William Philip Chinn was a pioneer mining man connected with the development of the iron ore industry in Minnesota since its inception and prominent in aiding its expansion. He was widely known and highly respected in the mining industry.  During his 48 years in the iron ore industry, he materially aided development of mechanical methods to the almost entire elimination of hand labor. He played a large part in increasing production per man from two tons a day to 10 to 20 tons a day for underground mines, and had helped make possible efficiency up to 100 tons per day in open pit mines. Other improvements he helped develop include working conditions for mine labor and introduction of safety measures for prevention of accidents. He had an extensive and accomplished career with Pickands, Mather & Co. rising from superintendent of two mines to general manager—the position he held until his retirement in 1937. His notable safety record at the mines earned him a bronze statue that was presented at the White House by President Hoover.


  • Larson, Jill. Intensive Survey of Historic Resources in Duluth’s East End (Part 1). City of Duluth, Duluth Heritage Preservation Commission, Duluth, Minn.: August 2007.
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