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American Iron, 1607-1900

Robert B. Gordon

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Winner of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award for General Engineering from the Association of American Publishers

Originally published in 1996. By applying their abundant natural resources to ironmaking early in the eighteenth century, Americans soon made themselves felt in world markets. After the Revolution, ironmakers supplied the materials necessary to the building of American industry, pushing the fuel efficiency and productivity of their furnaces far ahead of their European rivals.

In American Iron, 1607-1900, Robert B. Gordon draws on recent archaeological findings as well as…

Winner of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award for General Engineering from the Association of American Publishers

Originally published in 1996. By applying their abundant natural resources to ironmaking early in the eighteenth century, Americans soon made themselves felt in world markets. After the Revolution, ironmakers supplied the materials necessary to the building of American industry, pushing the fuel efficiency and productivity of their furnaces far ahead of their European rivals.

In American Iron, 1607-1900, Robert B. Gordon draws on recent archaeological findings as well as archival research to present an ambitious, comprehensive survey of iron technology in America from the colonial period to the industry's demise at about the turn of the twentieth century. Closely examining the techniques—the "hows"—of ironmaking in its various forms, Gordon offers new interpretations of labor, innovation, and product quality in ironmaking, along with references to the industry's environmental consequences. He establishes the high level of skills required to ensure efficient and safe operation of furnaces and to improve the quality of iron product. By mastering founding, fining, puddling, or bloom smelting, ironworkers gained a degree of control over their lives not easily attained by others.

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American Iron, 1607-1900

Robert B. Gordon

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Reviews

Reviews

The best available history of the technology of American iron.

This long-needed book is the best one-volume work extant on how ferrous metals were manufactured before the industrial revolution swept across the United States in the late 19th century... The value of this informing study is enhanced by the quality of the maps, scale drawings and pictures.

A fascinating history of the iron industry... Gordon's strong interests in historic metallurgy and industrial archaeology provide a unique perspective that makes this a valuable addition to the literature.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
7
x
10
Pages
362
ISBN
9781421435008
Illustration Description
138 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. Iron
Chapter 2. Ore, Fuel, and Other Natural Resources
Chapter 3. The Rise of American Iron, 1720-1860
Chapter 4. Smelting with Charcoal
Chapter 5. Converting Pig

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. Iron
Chapter 2. Ore, Fuel, and Other Natural Resources
Chapter 3. The Rise of American Iron, 1720-1860
Chapter 4. Smelting with Charcoal
Chapter 5. Converting Pig Iron to Wrought Iron
Chapter 6. Coal-Fired Blast Furnaces
Chapter 7. Steel
Chapter 8. Shaping Iron and Steel
Chapter 9. Iron Quality
Chapter 10. Ironmaking Eclipsed, 1860-1900
Chapter 11. The Industrial Archaeology of Iron
Appendix A. Metallography
Appendix B. Iron Production Data
Notes
Glossary
Essay on Early Treatises and Primary Sources
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Robert B. Gordon

Robert B. Gordon is a professor of geophysics and applied mechanics at Yale University. His books include The Texture of Industry, Toward a New Iron Age?, and A Landscape Transformed.