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 importation of ore from Danville. Limestone, used as a flux in the smelting process, was hauled from lime ridge, fifty miles away.
The Early Route to Market
Iron from the Scranton
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 stationary steam engines to supply the high blast pressures needed to smelt the high blast pressures needed smelt iron ore with anthracite coal. During the next two decades four additional furnaces
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 iron "T" Rails were rolled here on July 23, 1847. These were among the earliest rails rolled in the nation. The New York and Eries completed its contract four days before the deadline. In 1875 production
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. Touch for map. Located at the Scranton's Iron Furnace Park, within an exhibit circle. 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. 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 (within shouting distance of this marker); Casting Iron 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.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars •
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 859 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 22, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.