Cambria Iron Company
Cambria Iron Company
Blacksmith Shop in 1958
|Area||482 acres (195 ha)|
|Architect||Cambria Iron Co., et al.|
|NRHP Reference #||89001101|
|Added to NRHP||June 22, 1989|
|Designated NHLD||June 22, 1989|
|Designated PHMC||March 04, 1947|
The Cambria Iron Company of Johnstown, Pennsylvania was a major 19th-century industrial producer of iron and steel. Founded in 1852, it had the nation's largest steel foundry in the 1870s, and was renamed the Cambria Steel Company in 1898. The company used many innovations in the steelmaking process, including those of William Kelly and Henry Bessemer. The company was acquired in 1923 by the Bethlehem Steel Company. The company's historic facilities, extending some 12 miles (19 km) along the Conemaugh and Little Conemaugh Rivers, are a National Historic Landmark District.
The Cambria Iron Works was reorganized in 1898 and renamed the Cambria Steel Company. In 1916, the Midvale Steel and Ordnance Company bought the Cambria Steel Company, and sold it to the Bethlehem Steel Company in 1923.
The industrial facilities of the Cambria occuped five separate sites in and around Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Its earliest facilities, known as the Lower Works, are located in the east bank of the Conemaugh River, north of downtown Johnstown and the Little Conemaugh River. The Gautier Plant is just northeast of downtown Johnstown on the south side of the Little Conemaugh. Further up that River are the extensive Franklin Plant and Wheel Plant, while the Rod and Wire Plant is located on the west side of the Conemaugh River a ways north of the Lower Works. Each of these facilities represents a different phase of development and growth of the steel industry, although the Lower Works no longer has significant traces of the earliest facilities used in steel manufacturing. All five of these areas make up the National Historic Landmark District designated in 1989.
The Cambria Iron Company was founded in 1852, in order to provide steel for the construction of railroads. The company grew rapidly, and was by the 1870s a leading producer of steel and innovator in the advancement of steelmaking technology. It performed early experiments with the Kelly converter, built the first blooming mill, and was one of the first plants to use hydraulics for the movement of ingots. It built one of the first plants to use the Bessemer process for making steel on a large scale. Innovations by the company and its methods and processes were widely influential throughout the steel industry.
Although the company was at its height in the 1870s, it continued to operated independently, even after being eclipsed in size by other producers, until 1916, when it was acquired by the Midvale Steel and Ordnance Company. Midvale sold the company to Bethlehem Steel in 1923.
Infrastructure whose parts were manufactured by the Cambria Company include (with variations in attribution):
- Bell Bridge, county road over Niobrara River, 11.9 miles (19.2 km) northeast of Valentine, Nebraska (Cambria Steel Co.), NRHP-listed
- Boone River Bridge, Buchanan Avenume over Boone River, Goldfield, Iowa (Cambria Steel Company), NRHP-listed
- Borman Bridge, county road over Niobrara River, 2.3 miles (3.7 km) southeast of Valentine, Nebraska (Cambria Steel Co.), NRHP-listed
- Eldorado Bridge, State Street over Turkey River, Eldorado, Iowa (Cambria Steel Co.), NRHP-listed
- Johnstown Inclined Railway, Johns Street and Edgehill Drive, Johnstown, Pennsylvania (Cambria Iron Co.), NRHP-listed
- Neligh Mill Bridge, Elm Street over Elkhorn River, Neligh, Nebraska (Cambria/Lackawanna Steel Cos.), NRHP-listed
- North Loup Bridge, county road over North Loup River, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) northeast of North Loup, Nebraska (Cambria & Lackawanna Steel Cos.), NRHP-listed
- Republican River Bridge, county road over Republican River, 1 mile (1.6 km) east and 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of Riverton, Nebraska (Cambria Steel Co.), NRHP-listed
- Willow Creek Bridge, county road over Willow Creek, 6.5 miles (10.5 km) south of Foster, Nebraska (Cambria Steel Co.), NRHP-listed
- Rolling Mill Mine
- List of National Historic Landmarks in Pennsylvania
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Cambria County, Pennsylvania
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "PHMC Historical Markers". Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
- "Cambria Iron Company". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- Highway Bridges of Iowa MPS
- "History of Steelmaking in Johnstown". Frank & Sylvia Pasquerilla Heritage Discovery Center website. Johnstown Area Heritage Association. Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
- "NHL nomination for Cambria Iron Company" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cambria Iron Company.|
- History of the Steel Industry in Johnstown
- Lists of National Historic Landmarks
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. PA-109, "Cambria Iron Company"
- HAER No. PA-109-A, "Cambria Iron Company, Blacksmith Shop"
- HAER No. PA-109-B, "Cambria Iron Company, Pattern Shop"
- HAER No. PA-109-C, "Cambria Iron Company, Rolling Mill Office"
- HAER No. PA-109-D, "Cambria Iron Company, Car Shop"
- HAER No. PA-109-E, "Cambria Iron Company, Foundry"
- HAER No. PA-109-F, "Cambria Iron Company, Blast Furnaces No. 5 & 6"
- HAER No. PA-109-G, "Cambria Iron Company, Merchant Mill"
- HAER No. PA-109-H, "Cambria Iron Company, Blast Furnaces No. 5 & 6 Blowing Engine House"
- HAER No. PA-109-I, "Cambria Iron Company, Blast Furnaces No. 1-4 Blowing Engine House"