Forgotten/Not Forgotten

| Monday, April 12, 2010

from flickr user Chauncer
One of the abandoned buildings on the TCRC campus with the birthplace of Minnesota, Coldwater Spring, in the background.

Here's some information on the Bureau of Mines Twin Cities Research Center from the National Park Service:

In 1951, the Bureau of Mines officially acquired the property around Coldwater Spring for its Twin Cities Research Center (TCRC) from Veterans Administration, although it had begun occupying the campus in 1949. Formal research began on the property in the early 1950s and continued for the next 46 years. During its short history, the TCRC accomplished nationally and internationally significant breakthroughs in mine and mine safety technology.

Specifically, the TCRC:
- Conducted research on applications for drilling on the moon as part of NASA’s Apollo Moon Program;
- Developed the Tilden process for separating non-magnetic taconite from ore which led to the development of the taconite industry on Minnesota’s western Mesabi range, on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and other locations worldwide;
- Developed diesel engine safety techniques to reduce the potential for ignition of methane gas and the reduction in toxic and carcinogenic exhaust fumes in underground mines;
- Developed a vehicle and equipment operator notification system to reduce the number of collisions and injuries during backing-up operations, a system now employed on school buses, dump trucks, and many other types of equipment and vehicles;
- Developed an ultra-low radio frequency system that could penetrate thousands of feet of rock, an application now marketed worldwide.

Despite these accomplishments, in January 1996 President Clinton signed the Balanced Budget Downpayment Act, terminating funding for the Bureau of Mines nationally. In March 1996 the TCRC closed.