Montgomery in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Industrialization / Iron Boom
New jobs attracted rural residents to quickly expanding cities and company towns. In 1900, more than 33,000 Alabamians found steady work in 5,500 factories, producing a wide array of goods including cloth, fertilizer, furniture, pottery, and food. Town life brought new opportunities for education and recreation.
Many workers joined national labor unions, which clashed with management over pay and working conditions. In some industries, young children joined their parents on the payroll.
Until 1928, industry also made use of low-cost labor available through the convict-lease system. The convicted, mostly black men and often arrested for misdemeanors, generated revenue for state and county governments by working in bondage
Other industrial boomtowns included Gadsden, Anniston, and Sheffield. Cast iron pipe became a leading product, but Alabamians also made stoves, lamp posts, skillets, and other items shipped all over the country.
The abundance of jobs drew immigrants from Europe and blacks and poor whites from Alabama farms. Birmingham became home to an array of ethnicities and cultures.
On April 12, 1882, workers at Sloss Furnace Company in Birmingham tapped the furnace for the first time and channeled molten iron across a massive sand floor, where it hardened into ingots called "pigs."
Erected 2019 by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical date for this entry is April 12, 1882.
Location. 32° 22.669′ N, 86° Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 Dexter Ave, Montgomery AL 36130, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Emancipation / Reconstruction (a few steps from this marker); Secession & Confederacy / Civil War (within shouting distance of this marker); Populism / 1901 Constitution (within shouting distance of this marker); The Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March (within shouting distance of this marker); Cotton State / Slavery (within shouting distance of this marker); Professor John Metcalfe Starke / Starke University School (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington (within shouting distance of this marker); Rural Life / Agricultural Economy (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montgomery.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 26, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 26, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 237 times since then and 93 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 26, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.