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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Scranton in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Casting Iron

 
 
Casting Iron Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2008
1. Casting Iron Marker
Inscription. The blast furnace was the heart of any iron-making establishment. Lined with heat-resistant brick, known as refractory, the stack was filled from the top with alternating layers of iron ore, anthracite and limestone.

As the raw materials worked their way down inside the stack, the heated air blast caused the coal to burn, which in turn melted the ore and limestone. the calcium in the limestone acted as a flux, which removed impurities from the melted ore and formed slag. Just below the melt zone, the furnace walls formed a funnel, which direct the flow of molten iron droplets into the hearth at the bottom. Since the molten slag was lighter, it floated above the molten iron and was tapped off first.

Putting a furnace into blast marked the beginning of another campaign. During this period, usually ten to twelve months at the Scranton Works, a furnace would be fired continuously and tapped every ten to twelve hours. Depending on the size of the furnace, an average of seven tons of iron was smelted per tap. Between campaigns a furnace was relined, the hearth rebuilt and any necessary repairs were made. Due to the number of furnaces at Scranton - five by 1854 - it was rare that production stopped entirely.
 
Location. 41° 24.237′ N, 75° 39.774′ 
Trio of Markers at the Base of the Furnaces image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
2. Trio of Markers at the Base of the Furnaces
W. Marker is in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in Lackawanna County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Cedar Avenue and Mattes Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located at the Scranton's Iron Furnace Park. Marker is in this post office area: Scranton PA 18505, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Supplying the Blast (here, next to this marker); Rolling and Puddling (here, next to this marker); Making Steel (a few steps from this marker); Settlement (a few steps from this marker); The Lackawanna Valley (within shouting distance of this marker); Scranton Iron Furnaces (within shouting distance of this marker); City of Scranton (within shouting distance of this marker); The Blast Furnaces (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Scranton.
 
More about this marker. On the left is an illustration showing the casting of pig iron. On the right is another illustration showing the Dumping of coal and ore into the furnace. On the lower right is a Cross section of an Anthracite Blast Furnace.
 
Also see . . .  Extracting iron from iron ore using a Blast Furnace. The technical and chemical side of iron and steel making. (Submitted on August 21, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Looking Down the Furnace image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2008
3. Looking Down the Furnace
From the top of the furnace looking down. The hearth has been removed, but its location is clearly delineated by the different coloring of the bricks.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 21, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 763 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 21, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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