By Gerald G. Eggert
In 1810, Irish immigrant Roland Curtin introduced a charcoal ironmaking operation in imperative Pennsylvania that persevered for a hundred and ten years. via this enticing account of Curtin and his iron plantation, Gerald Eggert presents a tremendous bankruptcy within the historical past of the iron in the US. Eggert's tale starts with Curtin’s arrival within the Bald Eagle Valley in 1797. From the time he developed his first forge at the south financial institution of Bald Eagle Creek until eventually the ultimate last of the Eagle Ironworks in 1922, Roland and his sons, then his grandsons, and nonetheless later a great-grandson operated what had develop into one among Centre County's significant firms. all through a lot of its background, the Eagle Works hired among a hundred and two hundred complete- and part-time workmen.
Eggert analyzes the crew and describes existence within the staff' village. The relationships, existence, and housing of the Curtins, unlike these in their staff, supply insights into the social heritage of the interval. Eggert additionally offers a superb precis of the ironmaking process—from the slicing of wooden and making of charcoal to the mining of ore and smelting of the iron—and the demanding situations of transporting iron items out of the frontier to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
The lengthy historical past of the Curtin family's Eagle Ironworks mirrors either the increase and the lengthy decline of yankee charcoal-iron creation. regular of the small, family-owned organizations that bridged the space among preindustrial and sleek commercial creation, the background of the Eagle Ironworks illustrates either the industrializing and, later, the deindustrializing procedures and the influence those had on all who have been concerned. while the Eagle Ironworks closed in 1922, it used to be the final charcoal-iron institution in Pennsylvania and one of many or 3 final such works within the United States.
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