Ironville in Essex County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The forge formed the heart of the operation at Ironville. The first forge had two fires fanned by a cold air blast generated with falling water. It grew to eight fires by 1880. In 1848, Penfield kept his operation up to date by converting to hot air blast generated by placing pipes in the chimney stack to pre-heat the air.
The other essential equipment in a forge were the hammers used to pound impurities out of the hot iron. This forge originally had two water wheels driving trip-hammers whose heavy heads were raised by revolving cams. An 1800-lb helve hammer replaced the trip-hammers in 1867. This was highly skilled work. An experienced bloom smelter could produce as much as 1600 lb. of bloom iron in a day.
A worker called a hammerman balanced and turned the hot iron by sitting on one end of long tongs suspended from the ceiling shaping the bloom under the hammer and striking 40 blows a minute, If he failed to balance the bloom precisely, the farce of the hammer would catapult him to the ceiling.
Figure 132 - American Bloomery Furnace
(Marker Number 9.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1880.
Location. 43° 55.286′ N, 73° 32.092′ W. Marker is in Ironville, New York, in Essex County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Creek Road (County Route 2) and Whitehead Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Crown Point NY 12928, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Charcoal (a few steps from this marker); 1873 Expansion (within shouting distance of this marker); Scale House (within shouting distance of this marker); Dressed Ore (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Penfield Pond (about 300 feet away); Mills (about 300 feet away); On The Train (about 400 feet away); Irondale (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ironville.
Also see . . . Bloomery (Wikipedia). (Submitted on April 20, 2022, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 24, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 20, 2022, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 65 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 20, 2022, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.