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Trenton in Mercer County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Cooper & Hewitt ….. Iron & Steel

 
 
Cooper & Hewitt ….. Iron & Steel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, November 2007
1. Cooper & Hewitt ….. Iron & Steel Marker
Inscription. Trenton initially developed as a center of iron and steel production as a result of the efforts of Peter Cooper, the well-known inventor, industrialist and philanthropist from New York City. In the mid-1840s, as Cooper began to turn his attention to the large-scale manufacture of wrought and cast iron, he saw Trenton as a key element in an emerging industrial complex that ultimately sprawled across the Middle Atlantic region and beyond. Iron ore mined around Andover in the New Jersey Highlands and the hills of Eastern Pennsylvania was semi-processed into pig iron in the furnaces at Phillipsburg. The material was then shipped by canal and rail to Trenton, along with coal for fuel, where two vast ironworks hammered, rolled and drew out finished manufactured items, like rails and structural beams, as well as plates, rod and wire for use by other metalworking businesses.

In 1844-45, Peter Cooper set up his first ironworks in Trenton on the banks of the Delaware River at the foot of South Warren Street. Cooper was assisted by his son, Edward and son-in-law, Abram S. Hewitt in this endeavor which represented the first building block in the Cooper & Hewitt industrial empire. By 1854, the South Warren Street ironworks was producing 35,000 tons of finished iron annually, but capacity expanded enormously over the next century. Under a
Cooper & Hewitt ….. Iron & Steel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, November 2007
2. Cooper & Hewitt ….. Iron & Steel Marker
The drawings shown here are, "Typical cross sections of iron and steel rails produced at the Trenton Iron Works by the New Jersey Steel & Iron Company."
succession of owners – the South Trenton Iron Company, the Trenton Iron Company, the New Jersey Steel & Iron Company, the American Bridge Company and U.S. Steel – this plant mass-produced the first high quality iron and steel rails for the American railroads, the first structural I-beams for building construction, artillery carriages and gun-metal for the Union Army in the Civil War, the first steel made in the United State by the open hearth process, and countless materials for bridges and buildings all across the country and overseas.

Just across town, alongside the Delaware and Raritan Canal and Camden and Amboy Rail Line, the Trenton Iron Company and their agents, the Cooper & Hewitt partnership, began in 1849-50 to construct a second ironworks site. This plant was developed more specifically as a wire mill that could supply, among other clients, the growing needs of the neighboring wire rope manufacturing and engineering business of John A. Roebling. By 1853, the factory was advertising their production of telegraph wire, bridge wire, wire fencing, rivets and spikes, all made from Andover ore. The Trenton Iron Company continued production at this wire mill until 1904 when its operations were acquired by U.S. Steel.

Links to learn more – Ringwood Manor, Ringwood State Park; Invention Factory, Trenton
 
Erected
The four subject markers under the 19th Century Arch image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, November 2007
3. The four subject markers under the 19th Century Arch
2004 by New Jersey Department of Transportation.
 
Location. 40° 11.914′ N, 74° 45.507′ W. Marker is in Trenton, New Jersey, in Mercer County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 29. Click for map. This marker is part of South River Walk Park which is built over Route 29. Marker is in this post office area: Trenton NJ 08611, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Canals and Railroads – Arteries to the Heart of Industrial Trenton (here, next to this marker); Roebling …… Wire Rope and American Bridges (here, next to this marker); From Teacups to Toilets (here, next to this marker); 19th Century Trenton Timeline (a few steps from this marker); 20th Century (and later) Trenton Timeline (a few steps from this marker); Trenton’s Early Houses of Worship (within shouting distance of this marker); Slavery – An “Odious and Disgraceful” Practice (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battles of Trenton, Turning Point of the Revolution (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Trenton.
 
More about this marker. This is one of four subject markers under the 19th Century Arch.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable Persons
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Gary Nigh of Trenton, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,941 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Gary Nigh of Trenton, New Jersey. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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