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By Robert B. Gordon

This booklet examines the commercial ecology of 2 hundred years of ironmaking with renewal strength assets in northwestern Connecticut. It makes a speciality of the cultural context of people's judgements approximately expertise and the surroundings, and the sluggish transition they effected of their land from business panorama to pastoral countryside.

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

Example text

Adam brought technical knowledge of iron metallurgy and rolling mills along with sales ability to the Canaan enterprise. Forbes & Adam began making parts for mill machinery to numerical dimensions specified in customers' drawings, anticipating one of the techniques that mechanics would later use to make Connecticut the cradle of the American system of manufactures. The rolling and slitting mill John Winthrop built at his 1642 ironworks closed with the abandonment of the Saugus project, leaving New England without a source of machine-cut nail rod.

Other entrepreneurs added four more furnaces before the panic of 1837 arrested further construction (see fig. I). The relatively small, cold-blast furnace design they used facilitated smelting pig with the low carbon and silicon content wanted by finery forge proprietors. 2) shows that many Salisbury artisans now had the skills necessary for furnace construction and operation. 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.

Keepers to watch the furnace day and night, three "pounders" to break up the ore and flux, two fillers to charge the furnace, a banksman to unload ore, two coal stockers, and a jobber to clear the casting floor. 7 Allen's managerial talent (and his sense of civic responsibility) fell far short of his entrepreneurial skills. In three tumultuous years in Salisbury he repeatedly demonstrated his physical prowess by assaulting his neighbors, shocked and (privately) entertained the townspeople with his rich command of profanity, and soon parted company from his partners.

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