By Gerald G. Eggert
In 1810, Irish immigrant Roland Curtin introduced a charcoal ironmaking operation in significant Pennsylvania that persevered for one hundred ten years. via this attractive account of Curtin and his iron plantation, Gerald Eggert presents an incredible bankruptcy within the historical past of the iron in the US. Eggert's tale starts off with Roland Curtin, who arrived within the Bald Eagle Valley in 1797. From the time he developed his first forge at the south financial institution of Bald Eagle Creek till the ultimate final of the Eagle Ironworks in 1922, Roland and his sons, then his grandsons, and nonetheless later an outstanding grandson operated what had turn into one in all Centre County's significant firms. all through a lot of its background, the Eagle Works hired among a hundred and two hundred complete- and part-time workmen. Eggert analyzes the team and describes lifestyles within the employees' village. The relationships, existence, and housing of the Curtins, not like these in their staff, provide insights into the social background of the interval. Eggert additionally offers a great precis of the ironmaking process--from the slicing of wooden and making of charcoal to the mining of ore and smelting of the iron--and the demanding situations of transporting iron items out of the frontier to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.The lengthy heritage of the Curtin family's Eagle Ironworks mirrors either the increase and the lengthy decline of yank charcoal-iron creation. standard of the small, family-owned organizations that bridged the distance among preindustrial and smooth commercial construction, the background of the Eagle Ironworks illustrates either the industrializing and, later, the deindustrializing approaches and the influence those had on all who have been concerned. whilst the Eagle Ironworks closed in 1922, it was once the final charcoal-iron institution in Pennsylvania and one of many or 3 final such works within the usa.
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Additional info for Making Iron on the Bald Eagle: Roland Curtin's Ironworks and Workers' Community
Even as he took over direct management of his ironworks, he continued to expand his real-estate holdings. New opportunities arose when Philip Antes in 1825 decided to sell off his remaining properties in the Bald Eagle Valley and start afresh in Clearfield County. 25 Within a few years of getting this tract, Curtin there built himself a new “forge house” (known today as Curtin Mansion); in 1848 his sons erected Pleasant Furnace on the same tract. Similarly, the deaths by 1828 of Samuel Miles and James Harris, major landholders in the area, brought their farms to market.
Was tapped when the pig iron was ready. Sheds known as the “tuyere room” and the “casting house” covered each arch and the workspace in front of it, offering workers protection as they labored. The essential “blast” of compressed air for the furnace was generated in the “blast house” located on a millrace from Antes Run not far from the furnace. This small wooden shed covered a set of leather bellows powered by an overshot waterwheel and connected by an iron pipe to the furnace. Through that pipe the compressed air entered the furnace.
What he paid boatmen, however, was occasionally recorded. They were sometimes paid by the ton for a particular trip, other times simply by their destination. ” Apparently Barnhart was in charge of a small flotilla of arks, with assistance from others. Whether they were paid separately or from Barnhart’s wage is not clear. That same year Roland Curtin Jr. 24Clearly transport by arks was slow and time-consuming, costly, dangerous, and unreliable. It was also the only feasible means for trading with southern, eastern, and foreign markets.