By James A. Mulholland
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Extra info for A History of Metals in Colonial America
Rather, like Falling Creek in Virginia before them, they were an extension of the English iron industry in the New World, as their subsequent history displayed. The entrepreneurship that converted Winthrop's vision to a reality was English and remained so throughout the life of the operation. As Hartley has noted, the undertakers acted in the spirit of economic imperialism: "They looked forward from the beginning to the day when New England iron works would provide iron for export to England. "62 Hammersmith itself was a failure, but its very existence had helped to focus attention on the importance of iron, generating an atmosphere in the colonies that would encourage further 35 In the Early Colonies attempts and give them higher chances of survival.
4 Certainly the Jamestown colony was not founded for the sole purpose of discovering gold or silver in America-that hope was only one of several that inspired the merchant adventurers who comprised the Virginia Company of London. For this study with its focus on metals to the near exclusion of other factors, however, the discussion of the search for gold assumes added significance. It represents the first stage of a pattern which the development of metals technologies followed in America, and the key to that first stage already has been noted-the idea of exploitation.
It can be reduced to a more ductile form at a refining forge by reheating in air that slowly bums out the excess carbon. At the finery hearth, a pig was slowly fed into a charcoal fire. The high-carbon iron melted and dripped down into a pool on the hearth, some carbon being burned away as it melted and passed through the air. The process was repeated a second time and a third, after which, because the melting point had been raised with the removal of Saugus Ironworks Restoration, Forge Shop and Rolling Mill This view of the restoration of America's first major ironworks shows the stacks for the two refinery hearths and a waterwheel for a trip hammer on the left.
A History of Metals in Colonial America by James A. Mulholland