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

The Lukens Mill - Late 1800s

The Lukens National Historic District

 
 
The Lukens Mill - Late 1800s Marker image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 31, 2011
1. The Lukens Mill - Late 1800s Marker
Inscription. A new rolling mill was constructed in 1870 powered by a steam boiler to drive the larger rolls, which were 25" in diameter and 84" in length. The old mill was then converted to Pudding Mill to prepare stick for the new mill.

In 1890, the firm added another mill, this one with three rolls 34" in diameter and 120" in length between mill stands. The 3-high configuration permitted the passing of material in both directions through the mill. This is believed to have been the largest mill in the United States at that time. Driven by a large Corliss steam engine, the mill was equipped with cooling tables, hydraulic lifting equipment, and transfer apparatus to move the plates easily to shearing areas. When operated as a finishing mill, it facilitated the rolling of steel, which Lukens had begun to roll about 1881, and which was rapidly supplanting iron for the most industrial purposes.

A technological development that was to become a company speciality was the manufacture of heads, or bowllike shapes, by hot spinning. As a leading supplier of boiler plate, Lukens saw new market potential in being able to supply the builders of steam boilers, tanks, and pressure vessels with formed heads for end closures as well. Prior to the invention of spinning machines, heads were formed by hammering, or "bumping" hot plates with heavy
The Lukens Mill - Late 1800s Interpretive image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 31, 2011
2. The Lukens Mill - Late 1800s Interpretive
The Lukens 112/120 Mill Complex is in the background.
mauls, done either over a stationary form, or using a forming pit dug into the ground. It was a long and laborious prices, often requiring several reheatings of the plate to complete the job. During a visit to St. Louis in 1883, Dr. Huston and his son saw an early spinning machine in operation and were sufficiently impressed to order one for Lukens. The company's first spinning machine was put into operation in 1885. The first machine was belt driven and could produce heads up to 7' outside diameter and up to 1" thick.
 
Location. 39° 58.847′ N, 75° 49.373′ W. Marker is in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, in Chester County. Marker is on S. 1st Street 0.1 miles from Harmony Street. Touch for map. The The Lukens 112/120 Mill Complex alluded to in the interpretive is 350 feet from South 1st Street. The interpretive is 260 feet from South 1st Street and exactly 75 feet from this facilities building/plant (82 feet from the most northern part or front right corner of the building). This is the first building to the immediate left of the executive offices. The mill plant is rather long, about 424 feet long. The marker faces the mill building. The markers are the standard interpretives, held horizontally, thick black, frame, tilted for good viewing and maybe 3 or 4 feet off the ground. Marker is in this post office area: Coatesville PA 19320, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
The Lukens Mill - Late 1800s Interpretive image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 31, 2011
3. The Lukens Mill - Late 1800s Interpretive
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lukens Mill - Early 1900s (within shouting distance of this marker); Terracina (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles Lukens Huston House Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Charles Lukens Huston House (about 300 feet away); Brandywine Iron Works - Early 1800s (about 300 feet away); The Modern Mill (about 300 feet away); Brandywine Mansion (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Brandywine Mansion (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Coatesville.
 
More about this marker. The top left of the marker features a color photo of Dr. Charles Hudson, one of the founders of Lukens Steel Company. Next to that is a simple map of the mill site circa 1870. Beneath this is a 'landscape' picture of the milling area called Valley Panorama from circa 1870. At the bottom left of the marker is an even longer 'landscape' shot of the 84" Rolling Mill. The opposite corner is a picture of an end product discussed in the interpretive, called Spun Heads.
 
Regarding The Lukens Mill - Late 1800s. This is a very small, esoteric historic district which would normally be only fully understood and appreciated by a very specific cross-section of people. The Walking Tour Project
The Lukens Mill - Late 1800s Interpretive - Close-Up image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 31, 2011
4. The Lukens Mill - Late 1800s Interpretive - Close-Up
/ interpretive program located here successfully incorporates technical information and jargon into an accessible history lesson for Lukens' visitors. The interpretives are very organized and planted right in front of the contributing structure to which they refer. This interpretive focuses on a very specific point of time in which the Lukens Mill was modernizing, becoming technically savvy and embracing the industrial revolution with the addition of new machines designed to increase production, cut labor and ultimately produce a much better product.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Lukens Historic District and National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum Interpretive Plan. This link is all about the interpretive plan and walking tour which supports and educates visitors about the Lukens Historic District. (Submitted on December 28, 2011, by Eric Milask of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.) 

2. Historic District Walking Tour Signage Project. This link offers pictures of all the interpretive within the historic district. (Submitted on December 28, 2011, by Eric Milask of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.) 

3. Lukens National Historic District. Self-promoting website to engage and educate visitors and promote tourism. (Submitted on December 28, 2011, by Eric Milask of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
The Lukens 112/120 Mill Complex image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 31, 2011
5. The Lukens 112/120 Mill Complex
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 28, 2011, by Eric Milask of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 357 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 28, 2011, by Eric Milask of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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