A Landscape Transformed: The Ironmaking District of by Robert B. Gordon

By Robert B. Gordon

This publication examines the economic ecology of 2 hundred years of ironmaking with renewal strength assets in northwestern Connecticut. It specializes in the cultural context of people's judgements approximately know-how and the surroundings, and the sluggish transition they effected of their land from commercial panorama to pastoral countryside.

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Extra info for A Landscape Transformed: The Ironmaking District of Salisbury, Connecticut

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The district's merchant capitalists relied on these artisans to handle the technique of ironmaking. However, relatively few people in the district were specifically either artisans or capitalists. Artisans who managed their own businesses, or capitalists who worked with their hands alongside their men made up the bulk of Salisbury's ironmakers. 38 A Landscape Transformed FIVE Artisan-Entrepreneurs frlhe adventurers and colonial investors who initiated ironrnaking in the JL Salisbury district hired artisans to run bloomery forges and make products such as nails and hardware needed by settlers in the new lands.

4 Samuel Forbes had started work on a mill in 1778. Aided by Adam's expertise, the partners perfected their technique in the mill they completed in 1785. 5 Ironmaking entrepreneurs and artisans in Connecticut exchanged technical information freely. 6 Five years Fig. i. Forbes & Adam used four dams along the Blackberry River to provide power to each component of their industrial complex. A race north of the river brought water to their gristmill and to the blastfurnace built later by S. F. Adam.

The pioneers on the frontier in New York and northern New England wanted massive iron kettles for boiling potash, usually the first cash crop they got off their newly cleared land. Everyone needed nails. Building a bloomery forge offered an adventurer in Connecticut's Western Lands the easiest way to start making iron. One man could run a forge, although a helper made the work easier. The bloomery proprietor needed less capital than would be required for other types of ironworks. The region had plenty of easily developed water privileges of the right size to power a bloomery forge.

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