Monday, October 5, 2009

Saugus Iron Works, Saugus MA

From Saugus Iron Works

Enroute to Salem, we stop at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site to visit the site of the original 1640's plant to produce cast and wrought iron. This site on the Saugus river, contained all the raw materials needed, water-power, water transport, woodlands and other raw materials.

From Saugus Iron Works

Ranger Patricia McMahon gives us a wonderful tour of the plant.

From Saugus Iron Works

From Saugus Iron Works

From Saugus Iron Works

The last picture above attempts to explain the term "pig iron." The molten iron was allowed to flow into trenches in the sand floor, and the smaller trenches to the right apparently reminded the men of suckling piglets. Personally, I think the heat got to their brains!

From Saugus Iron Works

From Saugus Iron Works

From Saugus Iron Works

The technology of the era required water power to turn the water wheels, which in turn alternately compressed the leather bellows to maintain the high temperatures needed for smelting ore into molten iron. In the Forge building, the water wheels drove a shaft containing lower rollers and slitters. This made it possible to "cut" the ore into bars which were ultimately used to produce nails. Interestingly, all the nails had to be shipped back to England, except for enough to produce goods strictly for the English Colonies. The sale of nails was forbidden.

From Saugus Iron Works

Here Patricia holds up a bar that has been slitted for the manufacture of nails.

From Saugus Iron Works

From Saugus Iron Works

Shown above in the blacksmith shop are products produced from iron. We were fortunate to have a hand's on demonstration of nail making.

From Saugus Iron Works

From Saugus Iron Works

From Saugus Iron Works

In 1943 local citizens formed the First Iron Works Association. Archaeological finds together with colonial documents and materials describing and illustrating 17th century iron works in England made the restoration possible.

From Saugus Iron Works

From Saugus Iron Works

In 1954 the restoration was completed and the site was opened to the public. In 1968 the iron works was transferred to the National Park Service.

For further information: Saugus Iron Works

1 comment:

Eva Gallant said...

Wonderful photos, and a place I never knew existed! Thanks for sharing.