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

Casting Pigs

Lock Ridge Furnace

 
 
Casting Pigs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 5, 2015
1. Casting Pigs Marker
Inscription. This portion of the iron complex was known as the casting house. A chute from the hearth under Stack #7 brought molten iron into the large, open room. The floor of the room was covered in deep sand, which was shaped into molds. As the molten iron poured into the molds, workers used flat-edged shovels to guide the flow. Men took great precautions to protect themselves from the brownish, taffy-like substance that could leave them burned or worse, if they stepped in the wrong direction or caused the iron to splash. Protective clothing of the day consisted of wooden shoes that slipped over their boots and extra layers of fabric that they wrapped around the lower portions of their legs.

Each of the long molds was separated into shorter sections by a brick, which became embedded in the molten iron. When the iron cooled, workers could use a crowbar to crack the iron at each brick-creating relatively light pieces of iron, known as “pigs.” The men loaded the iron pigs onto the donkey engines, which carried them to the main rail line for shipment on the Massasoit. From Lock Ridge, the iron traveled to factories where it was melted, reworked, and turned into finished metal products.

“Nobody forced me to do this. I do it because I would rather live in an Iron Age than live in a world of ox-carts.”
James
Casting House at Lock Ridge Furnace complex image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 5, 2015
2. Casting House at Lock Ridge Furnace complex
J. Davis, Secretary of Labor (1921-1930) on working in an iron furnace during his youth.

(Inscription under the sketch in the lower right)
This sketch depicts a typical nineteenth-century casting room. The use of a mule on the right side of the room indicates that the scene was not at Lock Ridge.
(Collection of the Lehigh County Historical Society)
 
Erected by William B. Butz Memorial Fund.
 
Location. 40° 30.547′ N, 75° 35.605′ W. Marker is in Alburtis, Pennsylvania, in Lehigh County. Marker is on Church Street. Touch for map. The marker is located on the grounds of Lock Ridge Furnace Museum-Lehigh County Parks. Marker is in this post office area: Alburtis PA 18011, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lock Ridge Furnace (within shouting distance of this marker); Servicing the Furnace (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); From Production to Preservation (about 500 feet away); Lock Ridge Iron Furnace (approx. mile away); The Velodrome Story (approx. 2.8 miles away); Hereford Furnace (approx. 4.6 miles away); Jasper Park Indian (approx. 4.9 miles away); Indian Jasper Quarries (approx. 5.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alburtis.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Map of the Lock Ridge Park and Furnace Complex image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 5, 2015
3. Map of the Lock Ridge Park and Furnace Complex
Sign on Church Street at the entrance to the Lock Ridge Park and Furnace Complex image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 5, 2015
4. Sign on Church Street at the entrance to the Lock Ridge Park and Furnace Complex
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 10, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 235 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 10, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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