“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Saugus in Essex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)

The Casting House

The Casting House Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 1, 2015
1. The Casting House Marker
Inscription. A furnace at full blast kept founders preparing to receive up to a ton of molten liquid iron. Crucible contents were checked frequently and slag impurities that float on top of the heavier molten iron were removed. All preparations had to be complete when the clay plug that held back the fiery liquid was pierced. Founders wore long leather aprons, gloves, and high boots to protect themselves from the searing heat.
Founders used simple hand tools: rakes to remove slag, V-shaped hoes called “ships,” and ladles to complex molds. The liquid iron flowed through a network of shallow V-shaped trenches dug in the sand floor. The iron cooled and hardened into heavy bars called “sows.”

This fireback was one of the products made at Saugus. Set at the rear of the fireplace, it reflected heat back into the room, thus reducing the amount that escaped up the chimney. Decorative wood carvings were patterns for the firebacks. The wood was pressed into the sand, creating an impression that was filled with molten iron flowing directly from the crucible.

Potters and pattern makers practiced their skills months before the casting work began. Even a simple cast-iron pot required a mold of several pieces. Pot molds were buried in the sand, and the liquid iron was ladled into openings.

The Casting House Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 1, 2015
2. The Casting House Marker
The marker can be seen directly inside the casting įrea workshop, at the base of the reconstructed furnace.
small cast-iron pot is one of the products of Hammersmith.

Location. 42° 28.146′ N, 71° 0.485′ W. Marker is in Saugus, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker can be reached from Bridge Street. Click for map. The marker is at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, slightly underneath the reconstructed furnace. Marker is in this post office area: Saugus MA 01906, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Making Iron (within shouting distance of this marker); River Basin Terminus (within shouting distance of this marker); The Forge (within shouting distance of this marker); Iron Works (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line but has been reported missing); Blacksmith Shop (about 300 feet away); Appleton's Pulpit (approx. 0.2 miles away); Saugus Vietnam Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Saugus Massachusetts World War I Honor Roll (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Saugus.
Categories. Colonial EraIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. Makali Bruton of San Salvador, El Salvador. This page has been viewed 104 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by J. Makali Bruton of San Salvador, El Salvador. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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