Newspaper Archive of
The Superior Express
Superior, Nebraska
August 25, 2011     The Superior Express
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August 25, 2011

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6A THE SUPERIOR EXPRESS Thursday, August 25, 2011 The kiln firing hoods shown in this picture taken in the 1930s slid forward to allow workers to ent{ The original kilns were eight feet in diameter and 125 feet long. They were lined with fire brick whi to be replaced or repaired. "The kiln room was always a hot place to work," according to Mike Combs. "The newer kilns i there were 200 feet long and 10 feet in diameter. They had an 11 degree slope. The temperature in between 600 and 800 degrees F. It was considerably hotter on the back (more than 2,600 degr{ needed repair they were cooled enough to enter but they were still hot. "1 always thought it kind of ironic the way cement is made. Limestone rockwas ground into a pow, to make a slurry. The goal was 26 percent moisture. It entered the kiln through a chain curtain to splattering. The chain also helped keep the heat in the kiln. Impurities were burned out, calcimir jnto a clinker. "Then the clinker was ground, gypsum added to make cement. It went from dry to wet and th, up, water must be added which sets of a chemical reaction and causes the cement to harden. ..,to powder, then hardens, s ground, and back to a rocklike substance." Pictures at tf the effects of hc rthe kilns for repair. h occasionally had Jsed when I worked the first part ranged es). When the kilns Jer and water added eep the slurry from e added and made ;n dry again. To set ;o it goes from rock left and right show avy snows. Turbines in the cement plant's origi- nal power house provided the plant's electrical power. Construction of the plant started in 1910 and the first cement was produced in 1914. The turbines were steam powered and occasionally were called upon to fur- nish power to Superior. These pictures now available at the Nuckolls County Historical Society Museum Pictures from the past... The Nebraska Cement CO" Four generations of the Combs family iave been employed at the cement plant located on Superior s West Eighth Street and the family has collected lots of pictures taken of activity at the plant. This week we print a portion of those pictures. In the future we anticipate printing more and we invite our readers to share with us pictures they have of early life in this area. Most likely this locomotive was new when the picture was taken. The first cement was mar Jn 1 g14 bythe Nebraska Cement Company. Rock was mined in Jewell County and brought to S shor'est standard gauge interstate railroad. Tom Combs was a member of the plant's crew. It w ana Tom hired on for 10 cents per hour. It wasn't unusual to report for work at 6 a.m. and cont p.m. ny to be called back to work four hours later. Those who didn't answer the call were s ufactured in Superior Jperior on the nation's ts before labor unions nue on the job until 6 ,on without a job. This year we have been seeing pictures taken of the Missouri River flooding ,ka and western Iowa. But a number of pictures have been taken in past years of floods at Superior including this one I south from over the Republican Valley from a vantage point at the Superior Cement plant. Water is over flowin, the company railroad- track. Workman at the cement plant in Superior used ton Water pump (a diaphragm suction pump) to pump water from the Re River when the river flow was low. Mike Combs remember using the pump when he worked at the plant between 1964 and 1984. Picture is part of Tom Combs (Mike's grandfather) collection and will be on file at The Superior Museum.