A highlight from Sloss Furnaces- Birmingham, AL

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

We are traveling to birmingham alabama to visit a national historic landmark. Not only is a national historic landmark. It is also considered to be the most haunted place in alabama. I gave you sloss furnaces. This site is ripe with history. Many tragic deaths have happened here over the years and as a result of all this. Paranormal activity has arisen. No surprise there right guys have heard nothing but good things about this site. Every one high have ever talked to has said go. See this location and if you go go early in the day because the places massive there is lots to look at. You can go there just for the history in pretty much bump into the ghosts of the past without even looking for them. What do you think we just cut straight to this. Let's go digging in the history. Let's see what we find in the move on from there with. The civil war came to a close in eighteen sixty five. The restoration of the united states came not too long after all sorts of people were suddenly looking for work. Wi in alabama there were railroad men land developers and speculators who were suddenly moving into jones valley with one thing on their minds. They wanted to take advantage of the area's rich mineral resources. It just so happened that every last ingredient needed to make iron late with an inconvenient thirty mile radius. Believe it or not seams of iron ore stretch for a good twenty five miles through red mountain which was in the southeastern quadrant of the valley to the north and west were abundant deposits of coal while limestone dolemite in clay underlay. The valley itself eighteen. Seventy one southern entrepreneurs founded a new city called birmingham and began the systematic exploitation of its minerals and alabama railroad man and merchant. Colonel james wither sloss rolled into town one day and he had big plans the founding of a city. How would he go about this. The end turbos actually quite simple. He would convince the ellen in railroad to complete north and south rail line through jones valley which of course would be the new location of said town. Moving along with real entrepreneur like spirit. He formed this loss. Furnace company in eighteen eighty. In just two years later he would go on to have blown the second blast furnace in the city of burning birmingham. This'll happen as a result of him. Being involved in the forming of the pratt cooked in coal company the construction of new sloss furnace began in june of eighteen eighty. One of fifty acre plot of land had been donated by the l. eaten land company for such an endeavor. A european born engineer harry hargreaves was in charge of construction. Interestingly enough hargreaves had been student of thomas wit well okay. Who was what well well. He was a british inventor. The guy designed the very stoves that would directly supply. Hot air blast for these new furnaces. These things were sixty feet high in eighteen feet. In diameter the wit wellstone's were truly unique in the first ever of their type to be built in the city. Some even said they were just as good as stoves being used up north. The site would be called city furnaces. Well from here we find in the south course that this is where a majority of the machinery would be coming from. I lost furnaces locals. Were very proud of that fact. By the way the furnaces including two blowing engines in ten boilers these measured thirty feet. Long in forty six inches in diameter the following year the furnaces finally went into blast by the end of that same year though the furnace had impressively sold twenty four thousand tonnes of iron. The company would go on to boast a bronze medal for best pig iron that they won at eighteen eighty three louisville expedition. Good stuff guys. During the eighteen eighties as pig iron production in alabama grew from sixty. Eight thousand nine hundred ninety five to seven hundred six thousand six hundred twenty nine gross tonnes no fewer than nineteen blast furnaces would be built in jefferson county alone per dr w david lewis author of sloss furnaces and the rise of the birmingham district sloss furnaces was born at a time when the doldrums of the post war era had ended in the south was feeling a measure of confidence for the first time since the opening years of the civil war industrialists rio magnates and town planners received as one newspaper stated a degree of adulation previously reserved for military heroes. By the way. We're talking about the same types of people that were cut literally from the same cloth as sloss in november eighteen eighty. One sloss was promoted as a candidate for governor by the birmingham press. They had this to say their glamorous candidate his excellent business qualifications brilliant intellect splendid character and fine executive ability all combined make him the grandest man in alabama today for our chief executive. He is the very personification of christian manhood and integrity possessing the qualifications of head and heart which we should emulate inspired by Such rhetoric alabama not surprisingly eagerly embraced called the gospel of industrialism sauces decision to bring in the l. n. transform birmingham from squalid jumble of tents she sees box cars into a thriving community anxious to tap the rich mineral resources surrounding birmingham. Sloss along with fellow birmingham. Promoters henry debarred l. ben and james aldridge. I acquired thirty thousand acres and form the pratt. Coal and coke company pratt soon became the largest monning enterprise and the district. The majority of sloss pig iron ended up in cincinnati louisville. Chicago and cleveland pickering costs in northern plants. Average eighteen dollars and thirty cents per ton in eighteen. Eighty four wild pig iron in the south could be produced for as little as ten to eleven dollars a ton but the eighteen eighties birmingham was booming and had the nickname. Wait for it. The magic city in eighteen eighty. Six james w sloss finally retired and ended up selling his company to a group of 'financiers who took the business to new heights and let it through a much needed expansion. A few years later eighteen ninety nine the company decided to re organize us slush sheffield steel and iron. They never make steel though. With the acquisition of additional furnaces and extensive mineral lands in northern alabama sloss sheffield. Became the second largest merchant pig. Iron company in the birmingham district.

Coming up next