Earl E. Hunner

Earl Hunner began his legendary career with Oliver Mining in 1902.  He became the Chief Engineer of the Hibbing-Chisholm district in 1905 and was transferred to Duluth in 1909 as Second Assistant General Mining Engineer.  He later joined Great Northern Ore Properties, which was later purchased by M.A. Hanna Co. and retired as the general manager of Lake Superior operations for the M.A. Hanna Co.  Considered a pioneer in his field, he was the first to adapt the use of electric power to underground and open pit mining and was the first to use rotary converters faster than motor generator sets to convert alternating current to direct current.  In 1950 the University of Wisconsin presented him with a citation for his meritorious work in “turning iron mining from an art to a science” and “… who through vision and technical skill helped pioneer the transformation of iron mining from an art to a science and who has been a leader in the affairs of the communities in which has work has been done.”


  • 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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