Cambria Iron Company

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Cambria Iron Company
Cambria Iron Company, Blacksmith Shop, Lower Works, Johnstown (Cambria County, Pennsylvania).jpg
Blacksmith Shop in 1958
Cambria Iron Company is located in Pennsylvania
Cambria Iron Company
Cambria Iron Company is located in the US
Cambria Iron Company
Location Johnstown, PA
Coordinates 40°20′10″N 78°55′23″W / 40.336°N 78.923°W / 40.336; -78.923Coordinates: 40°20′10″N 78°55′23″W / 40.336°N 78.923°W / 40.336; -78.923
Area 482 acres (195 ha)
Architect Cambria Iron Co., et al.
NRHP Reference # 89001101[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 22, 1989[1]
Designated NHLD June 22, 1989[3]
Designated PHMC March 04, 1947[2]

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.

A number of works by the firm are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1][4]

Name history[edit]

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.[5]

Facilities[edit]

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.[6]

View from Westmont, Pennsylvania. Blacksmith shop (octagon roof) and machine shop (raised roof) in the center.

Company history[edit]

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.[6]

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.[6]

Works produced[edit]

Infrastructure whose parts were manufactured by the Cambria Company include (with variations in attribution):

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers". Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Cambria Iron Company". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  4. ^ Highway Bridges of Iowa MPS
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ a b c "NHL nomination for Cambria Iron Company" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-04-07. 

External links[edit]