Thursday, September 9, 2010

Historical Images

This woodcut from an 1858 Harper's New Monthly magazine, shows a typical charcoal fueled/steam-powered blast furnace. It produced raw iron from iron ore.The iron was then used in local foundries.
This 1860 photograph shows no trace of the earlier charcoal-fueled furnace. Instead, the innovative cupola-style stack that replaced it used coke as its fuel and was unique in the nation at that time. The tall chimney on the right was part of a massive steam engine that powered the hot blast. Approximately twenty furnace workers appear in this photograph. Can you find them?
This 1864 photograph was taken after the Union Army captured Chattanooga and converted the furnace into a lime kiln. Only foundations from the casting shed are left. The bottom of the cupola, supported by arched cast iron legs, appears in the background.
As Chattanooga's first heavy industry, Bluff Furnace contributed to the industrial development of the city in the nineteenth century. This bird's-eye view depicts the city in 1886.

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