STICHT, Robert Carl (1856-1922)


STICHT, Robert Carl (1856-1922)
metallurgist
son of John C. Sticht, was born at Hoboken, New jersey, U.S.A., on 8 October 1856. He studied at the Brooklyn polytechnic institute for some years and then went to the royal school of mines, Clausthal, Germany, where he graduated with honours in 1880. Returning to America he occupied various positions and erected smelters in Colorado and Montana. In 1894, on the recommendation of the well-known American mining expert, E. D. Peters, he was appointed chief metallurgist to the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Co. Ltd. in Tasmania. He designed and supervised the erection of the reduction works plant and in 1897 was appointed general manager of the company. His successful dealing with pyritic ores marked him out as a great metallurgist. Other difficult problems arose but each was successfully dealt with as it came, and his ability in selecting suitable assistants and heads of departments was a great factor in the continued success of the company. He had a holiday tour in the United States in 1914-15, and in 1917 was there again investigating problems in connexion with the Mount Read and Rosebery ores. He died at Launceston, Tasmania, on 30 April 1922. He married in January 1895 Marion O. Staige who survived him with three sons.
Sticht was a highly cultivated man, interested in music, art and literature. The trustees of the Felton bequest presented his large collection of drawings by old masters, engravings, etchings, and a collection of examples of early typography of extraordinary value, to the public library, museums and national gallery of Victoria, and many of his scarce and valuable books were bought by the library. Sticht showed his interest in the welfare of the employees of the Mount Lyell mine by the establishment of "betterment" facilities near the mine, and took a leading part in the opening of a technical school at Queenstown. His natural kindliness was extended to his employees, to prospectors, and all interested in the mining industry; he was untiringly devoted to his work, and the mine owed its success to his administrative powers, his resourcefulness and his great knowledge. His reputation became world-wide and the long chapter of 125 pages in the 1907 edition of The Principles of Copper Smelting, by E. D. Peters, owed so much to him, that the author stated that "to save constant quotation marks and references, I believe that it will be more just to ascribe this chapter, in the main, to Mr Sticht".
The Mercury, Hobart, 1 May 1922; The Examiner, Launceston, 1 May 1922; The Industrial Australian and Mining Standard, 4 May 1922; Thirty-second Report of the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company; The Book of the Public Library, Museums, and National Gallery of Victoria, 1906-1931.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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