Large barrel furnaces increased capacity at Greybull in 1964, then Lovell in 1969, then at the new Thermopolis plant in 1980. All were updated to process bentonite for the steel industry. Rail cars full of bentonite left the Wyo-Ben mills regularly to feed an expanding steel industry in the United States. They later shipped – across the Great Lakes – to Canada. By super-heating this semi-crude bentonite, it could now be combined with iron-ore fines to make hardened, marble-sized pellets that could be easily transported. For more than twenty-five years, Wyo-Ben cornered this market, gradually expanding into the Far East and Europe.
The oil and gas industry still was the mainstay of Wyo-Ben profits. In fact, demand was so stable and flourishing that the company decided to build, rent, or buy extra space to accommodate a constant demand for their processed mineral. Over time, 46 warehouse distribution centers were dotted around the U.S. and Canada specifically to feed the immediate needs of their customers.
Events of Significance During the Period: 1955 – 1969
1955 – Minimum Wage Increased to $1.00
1956 – Death of Rockwood Brown
1957 – Integration Spotlights Race Differences
1960 – John Glenn Orbits Spacecraft
1963- John Kennedy Assassinated
1965 – Vietnam Becomes Issue
1968 – MLK and RFK Assassinated
1969 – Armstrong Moon Landing
Inventions and Fads: Hula-Hoops, Barbie Dolls, Drive-in Movies, Elvis, TV Quiz Shows, Peace Corps, Beatles, Muhammad Ali