Lock Ridge Furnace

Lock Ridge Furnace (HM1LP8)

Location: Alburtis, PA 18011 Lehigh County
Buy Pennsylvania State flags at Flagstore.com!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at Flagstore.com!

N 40° 30.534', W 75° 35.658'

  • 0 likes
  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
  • 225 views
Inscription
From charcoal to "stone coal"During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the Lehigh Valley, with its wealth of trees for charcoal fuel and substantial sources of ore, attracted many enterprising iron facilities to settle in the region. Even in the Lehigh Valley, however, wood supplies soon began to dwindle, and the search for new fuel sources began in earnest. In 1822, Josiah White and Erskine Hazard formed the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company to build a canal that could carry boatloads of anthracite coal—a fuel that burned hotter and more efficiently than charcoal. They hired Welshman David Thomas to design a new type of furnace that could burn the exceedingly hard "stone coal." The use of anthracite coal as fuel led to a new age in iron making and the rise of new iron works across the Lehigh Valley.
In 1868, just after the Civil War, the well-established Thomas Iron Company expanded to the town of Alburtis, where railroad connections, plentiful water, and access to ore created favorable conditions for iron production. The new Lock Ridge Furnace had two large furnaces that were capable of annually producing 15,000 tons of iron for tools, steam engines, guns, and other finished goods.
From iron to steel
For 40 years, the company thrived, despite coal strikes and increasingly fierce competition. The founding of US Steel (1901) and nearby Bethlehem Steel (1904), however signaled the end of profitable small-scale iron production. Increased demand during World War I allowed the company to remain profitable for a short time, but the last cast of iron came out of Lock Ridge in 1921, and much of the machinery was sold for scrap
"Changes must be made or we are doomed."
Benjamin F. Fackenthal, President of Lock Ridge Furnace (1912).
When it closed in 1921, Lock Ridge was reportedly the last operating anthracite iron furnace in the United States.
(Inscription under the image in the lower center) A weigh lock on the Lehigh Canal.
(Inscription under the image in the upper right) Lock Ridge Furnace as it appeared in the 1870s. (Collection of the Lehigh County Historical Society)
Details
HM NumberHM1LP8
Tags
Placed ByWilliam B. Butz Memorial Fund
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, July 11th, 2015 at 6:01pm PDT -07:00
Pictures
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 449649 N 4484412
Decimal Degrees40.50890000, -75.59430000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 30.534', W 75° 35.658'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 30' 32.04" N, 75° 35' 39.48" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)610, 484
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 588 Thomas St, Alburtis PA 18011, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?