Scranton in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Scranton's Iron Furnace
In August of 1840 William Henry, Seldon and George Scranton, and Stanford Grant noted abundant outcroppings of coal and iron ore while prospecting in the Nay Aug Ravine. The wealth of raw material prompted them to purchase 503 acres in the area, and by September they had begun construction of a blast furnace, marking the birth of industry in Scranton. At the time the area, known as Slocum Hollow, contained only a schoolhouse, gristmill, sawmil, cooper shop, the Slocum house, and five dwellings.
Early Days of Production
The first three attempts to "blow in" the huge furnace ended in failure. Finally on January 18, 1842 the furnace was started and produced 75 tons of pig iron before it was shut down five weeks later. Local coal was found to be a good fuel, but the iron ore was of inferior quality, necessitating the
The Early Route to Market
Iron from the Scranton plant was shipped to New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Products destined for New York were carted to Carbondale by mule team, shipped to Honesdale via the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company's gravity railroad, then carried by canal and railroad to the city. Other iron goods were hauled by teams to Port Barnum near Pittston, and shipped down the north branch of the Pennsylvania Canal to Philadelphia, or on down the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal to Baltimore. The incorporation of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Company in 1853, and the completion of the railroad to Scranton in 1855, gave the firm the first of a series of rails outlets for its products.
Construction of the Mills
Construction of the first blast furnace began September 11, 1840. Power for the blast machinery was provided by the waters of Roaring Brook. Water power was later abandoned in favor of
A Railroad is Saved
In 1846 construction of the New York and Erie Railroad had stopped and the line was faced with bankruptcy. The state of New York offered to release its claim of $3,000,000 if the road were completed to Binghamton within a specified time. the task seemed impossible since the company could only purchase the needed iron rails from England. The firm, then known as Scrantons and Platt, contracted to deliver 12,000 tons of "T" Rails within two years. Although the company had never made such a product, machinery was brought from Philadelphia, and
Location. 41° 24.216′ N, 75° 39.819′ W. Marker is in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in Lackawanna County. Marker is at the intersection of Cedar Avenue and Mattes Avenue, on the right when traveling north on Cedar Avenue. Located at the Scranton's Iron Furnace Park, within an exhibit circle. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Scranton PA 18505, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Shops (a few steps from this marker); The Blast Furnaces (a few steps from this marker); Lackawanna Iron (a few steps from this marker); Scranton Iron Furnaces (within shouting distance of this marker); Supplying the Blast Casting Iron (within shouting distance of this marker); Rolling and Puddling (within shouting distance of this marker); Making Steel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Scranton.
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 22, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 893 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 22, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.