By 1850, the application of steam power to the manufacture of goods was well established. Not only did the steam engine produce sufficient amounts of relatively stable power, but it freed industry from location along waterways. Two double connected lever-beam steam engines were installed at the Scranton Works in 1854. These engines, considered the largest of that type in America at the time, powered by large blowing cylinders, which produced the blast for the furnaces. By 1879, seven steam engines were in operation the Scranton Works. Together they produced some 77,000 cubic feet of air per minute.
A strong steady blast of air was essential for the furnace to operate properly. The air was carried into the furnace by three pipes called tuyeres (pronounced twee AIRS), which passed through the archways in the rear and on the sides of each furnace, just above the hearth. Due to the intense heat, tuyere pipes were usually made of cast iron and encased in a water cooled jacket.
Initially, the power necessary to operate the blast machinery was generated by an overshot whaterwheel located on Roaring Brook. Built in 1841 by Thomas P. Harper, the wheel turned a connection shaft, which caused two reciprocating blowing tubs to raise and fall, thus forcing air into the furnaces.