Easton in Northampton County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Glendon Iron Works
1842 - 1894
The Glendon Iron Company was established in 1842 by Boston businessman Charles Jackson, Jr. It was the second anthracite iron furnace in the U.S. and was put into blast in 1844 by William Firmston, and English iron master. Firmstone purchased a site along Section 8 of the Lehigh Navigation, where he could use the water power of the canal to drive his blowing engines. A second furnace was constructed in 1846, and the works turned out over 7,000 tons of iron that year. The Glendon Works, like most of the Lehigh Valley iron furnaces, smelted a mix of local hematite ore and New Jersey magnetite, which was brought in via the Morris Canal and the Lehigh Navigation. Most of its iron was shipped via the two canals to New York, where it was loaded onto coastal schooners and sent to the company's rolling mill near Boston. Three other iron companies were located in what is now Hugh Moore Park, Easton: the Lucy Furnace, South Easton Iron Furnace, and Keystone Furnace.
Glendon Iron was Pennsylvania's second largest producer of pig iron in the 1850s. Raw materials and manufactured goods were transported on the Lehigh Navigation
Much of the hematite ore that was used in the production of pig iron at the Glendon Iron Company came from the hills of nearby Williams Township. Higher-grade magnetite ore was brought in from New Jersey on the Morris and Lehigh canals.
William Firmstone, Iron Master
Although William Firmstone played a significant role in the Borough of Glendon's history and economy, he never became a United States citizen. Firmstone was born in Wellington, England, in 1810. He came to the United States in the spring of 1835 with an excellent grasp of the iron industry, knowledge garnered from his uncles who operated hot-blast furnaces at the Lay Works near Dudley, England.
With his father, who came to America in 1836, and several partners, William Firmstone started La Grange Furnace in Ohio. Within two years, the business failed and Firmstone concentrated his management skills on iron works in Pennsylvania. While working in Pottsville, Firmstone was asked by Charles Jackson, Jr., a Boston financier, to investigate the potential for an iron works in the Lehigh Valley Firmstone came to Easton by way of Allentown, where he visited the Crane Iron Works in Catasauqua. In 1842, he wrote a positive report for his employer and, by September, a furnace site was selected from Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co., and Firmstone surveyed
Erected by City of Easton, Pennsylvania.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is March 15, 1844.
Location. 40° 39.95′ N, 75° 14.256′ W. Marker is in Easton, Pennsylvania, in Northampton County. Marker is on Hugh Moore Park Road, 0.3 miles south of Hill Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 337 Hugh Moore Park Rd, Easton PA 18042, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Rise of Bethlehem Iron (within shouting distance of this marker); Anthracite Iron - A Revolution Is Born (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Easton's Abbot Street Area (about 400 feet away); From Mine to Market (about 600 feet away); Lehigh Crane Iron Company (about 800 feet away); The Promise of Anthracite Coal (about 800 feet away); Fathers of the Industrial Revolution (approx. 0.2 miles away); Iron in Colonial Pennsylvania (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Easton.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 6, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 240 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 6, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.