As early as October, 1916, discussion between Shelby and iron company management, located at the time in Hartford, Conn., was underway.
Shelby Iron was interested in establishing a wood by-products plant. Demand for these by-products, including acetate of lime and acetic acid, were increased substantially by the war effort. Shelby's idea was to obtain these substances, among others, and use the remaining charcoal to fuel the company iron furnaces.
The letter above was from Shelby Iron officer Ward. W. Jacobs, who was also treasurer of the Mechanics Savings Bank, in Hartford.
The letter's recipient, B. F. Wilson, would become an officer in the soon to be formed Shelby Chemical Company.
Below is Wilson's reply.