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Our History

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Ambrose Monell and the Ambrose
Monell Foundation

The Ambrose Monell Foundation was established in 1956 by Maude Monell Vetlesen in honor of her first husband, whom she married in 1899.

Ambrose Monell was born in New York City in 1873, son of Judge Ambrose Monell, Sr., a graduate of Columbia University. Although expected to become a lawyer, young Monell attended the Columbia School of Mines, from which he graduated in 1896.

Upon graduation he joined the Carnegie Steel Company in Pittsburgh as a metallurgical engineer. He served in various capacities with this company, becoming its Chief Metallurgical Engineer and assistant to the president by 1902.

In 1902 the International Nickel Co. was chartered when Canadian Copper Co., Orford Copper Co. and other interests merged. Monell, then 28 years old and known as one of Carnegie’s “Bright Men,” was elected its first president. He served as president until 1917, when he resigned to become a colonel in the aviation service of the Army. He served in France organizing and training night bombing squadrons.

An excellent metallurgist, Monell had a great understanding of finance and was an able administrator. Although he is best known for the metal, monel, which bears his name, he established himself as a businessman and financier. He was a director of many corporations including American International, Midvale Steel and Ordnance, International Motors, International Nickel and National Bank of North America Liberty National Bank. American Bank Note Company.

Monell was an ardent fisherman and one of the first to use dry flies for salmon. Ambrose Monell died in 1921 after a long illness. He was 48 years old.