Phelps Dodge Corporation
Phelps Dodge Corporation
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|Company||Phelps Dodge Corporation
|Certificate Type||Capital Stock
|Date Issued||May 26, 1961 (blue)
May 5, 1965 (green)
September 12, 1963 (brown)
|Printer||American Bank Note Company
12" (w) by 8" (h)
||Show the exact certificate you will receive|
Anson G. Phelps started a partnership in New York City during 1821 with Elisha Peck, a merchant who had been in trade in Berlin, Connecticut. Peck moved to Liverpool to run the British end of their business, an import-export company that shipped U.S.-grown cotton from the Deep South to England, importing tin, iron, copper and other metals essential for industrial growth and development in the United States. In 1834 Peck left the business and was replaced in Liverpool by Daniel James, who remained there until his death in 1876. It was at this time that the concern of Phelps Dodge and Company was begun.
When Anson G. Phelps died, his sons-in-law purchased his portion of the company, but retained the name, and the import-export business. In 1880, the company invested in the Detroit Copper Company of Clifton, Arizona, at the time a very small copper camp in eastern Arizona Territory. Phelps-Dodge interested Dr. James Douglas of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania to inspect the property and make recommendations. Dr. Douglas inspected the Detroit Copper Company of Morenci and also ventured south to the Warren District. On his advice, Phelps-Dodge began its own mining operations in the Warren District with the purchase of the Atlanta Copper Mine in 1882, neighboring the Copper Queen Mine. When both mines discovered the same ore body, instead of fighting over it, they merged in 1885, creating the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company. The Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee, Arizona Territory, became one of the most productive in the state of the early 20th century.
The company focused largely on providing copper wire and cables to industry, products that were in high demand as the Industrial Revolution took hold. As the company diversified, it began investing in new railroads, essential in the company’s efforts to become established in the West, especially copper-rich Arizona. It used its own lines to transport products to and from major railroads for its markets on the eastern/northeastern shores.
In 1895, the first (business) contract was signed by Phelps Dodge and Company and the Nichols Copper Company (which was renamed from G. H. Nichols and Company in 1891) to have Phelps Dodge deliver a minimum of 1,000,000 pounds of blister copper over three years. This economically symbiotic relationship lasted until 1922, in which Phelps Dodge provided 90% of the blister copper Nichols Copper Company used to produce 100% pure copper. During the 1920s, Phelps Dodge invested $3.5 million in the Nichols Copper Company's plant modernization projects in exchange for stock in Nichols Copper Company. This dramatically increased copper production of the plant. In 1930, Dr. William Henry Nichols died; Phelps Dodge purchased the Laurel Hill plant that same year.
During the late 19th century, in concert with its metal interests, Phelps Dodge Corporation became one of the largest producers of lumber and lumber products in the United States.
In Tombstone, Arizona during 1900 E. B. Gage, Frank Murphy, and William Staunton consolidated their various mining properties into a single entity, the Tombstone Consolidated Mines Company. They worked to drain mines that had filled with water, laid a rail spur into town, and revived mining. They experienced some success until the pumps failed in 1909. The new company filed for bankruptcy and the Phelps-Dodge Corporation acquired its claims.
In 1908, with the Phelps and Dodge owners no longer alive, the company was re-organized as a public company and the name changed to Phelps Dodge Corporation, a holding company for all of the various properties and operations. Dr. Douglas was its first president.
The company became notorious for its anti-union tactics, primarily for the 1917 Bisbee Deportation. The company worked with a local group of private citizens and the county sheriff to deputize about 2,000 members of a posse. Given names of Industrial Workers of the World members and other miners, they arrested nearly 1,300 striking miners at gunpoint in Bisbee, Arizona at the Copper Queen Mine. Portraying the Wobblie miners as bent on war-related sabotage, the company ordered them expelled from the jurisdiction, deporting them to Hermanas, New Mexico. Company officials and the Sheriff seized telegraph and telephone lines to keep news of this from getting out. The Phelps Dodge copper mine at Morenci, Arizona was the site of a violent strike from 1983 to 1986, culminating in one of the largest union decertifications in American labor history.
In South America, the company had several very large copper mining operations in Peru. In the Congo of Africa, Phelps Dodge Corporation was the majority owner and operator of the Tenke Fungurume project, generally considered to be the world's largest undeveloped copper/cobalt project.
In 1906, Phelps-Dodge acquired the Dawson Fuel Company of Dawson, New Mexico to mine coal for its copper smelting operations. Major accidents include the explosion at the Dawson Stag Canyon #2 mine which resulted in 264 deaths, and is one of the deadliest coal mining accidents in U.S. history.
On Sunday, November 19, 2006, Freeport-McMoRan announced that it planned to acquire Phelps Dodge for $25.9 billion in cash and stock to create the world's largest publicly traded copper mining company. Stockholders for both companies voted on the proposal March 14, 2007. On Monday, March 19, 2007, Phelps Dodge Corporation was acquired by Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX), creating the world's largest publicly traded copper company, with 25,000 employees at acquisition.
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