HISTORY OF BUILD '- TECHNOLOGY: PART
ZJEK 7 BUILDING J,.ATiRIALS:
..:'_ PRODUCTS, AND HARDWARE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
DONNIE GASTON SEAL'L
2F. Structural an6 decorative ironwork
I. GN AL
C.- Techniques of the Foundry;
The earliest method of smelting; "the
metallurgical operation by which metal
is heated and separated from the impurities"
probably discovered in accident times
by -ome primitive man, who after having
lighted fire near orebearing rock,
found iron in the ashe-s. From this
simple beginning were developed crude
-meltin-- forgese in the form of pits
dug on the sides of a windy hill, with
tunnels dud in to it in which the
wind wass. trapped for drought.
The first American ironworks were
patterened after the air bloomery
commonly used in England. The bloomery
resembled the blacksmith's forge, but
wider and deeper. Only a small investment
%was required for the bloomeries and
could be set up anywhere. Broken into
small pieces the ore was placed in the
firepot of the forge with the charcoal
that had previously been heated. A hot
blast, made by a water powered bellows,
introduced at the side of the f:.rance,
reduced the iron ore to a semimolten
condition. The foreman stirred this
mas, with a long bar until it gathered
into a lump called a loupee'.' 1hile the
lump was still in a semimolten mass,
then transferred it to the anvil where
he fastioned it with a heavy hammer, into
a bar of iron. Successive reheating
and successive hammering produced bars
for the blacksmith trade. The iron
produced in this manner was commonly
called wrought iron.
The blast furnaces were developed in
the United 3States in the early 1700"s.
The blast furances operating: in England
had slowly evolved from the days of
Henry VIII and by 1700 had become
standardized. The furnaces took on
larger proportions, when introduced
in America. They were built on the
side of hills, usually 25 to30 feet high,
The stacks were square at the bottom,
tapering at the top, with a brid-ge con-
necting the head of the stack with the
bank of the hill. "Creakinrg wagons
drawn by teams of horses or oxen
hauled the iron ore, limestone, and
charcoal up the furnace toad to the
bridge where workers, known as" fillers"
carried it in baskets across the
bridge and dumped it into the stack,
alternating the layers until the stack
After burning for a few days, the molten
metal was run out into a bed of sand,
forming a stream of metal which, because
of its resemblance to a sow was called
"pig iron". Pig- iron made into bars
was further refined in the smelting
furnace and then pounded into bars by
a heaver hammer on a forge. Bars cut
into convenient lengths were sold
to the blacksmiths, and other artisans
to be worked into tools and articles
"Cast iron is an iron-carbon alloy with
a high carbon content (more than 1.7 percent)
and varying amounts of silicon, sulfur,
manganese, and phosphorces. It irs easily
poured while molten into moulds; however
it is too hard and brittle to be shaped
by hammering; rolling or pressing."
Cast iron is great as a useful architectural
metal. Cast iron is used for an enormous
amount of architectural elements such a:.
structural members including beams, columns,
built-up girders, trusses, and dome framing;
roofing clabs,; entire facades;and ornamental
brought iron is defined as_ a. "commercial
iron consisting of slag (iron silicate)
fibers entrained in a ferrite matrix."
It is considered to be pure iron with
less than 1/' carbon. Slag content is
usually about .5 percent which is "in
a purely physical association (not
alloyed). rought iron is soft, malleable,
tough, fatigue-resistant, and easily
worked by forging, bending, rolling, and
drawing. Architectutal uses of wrought
iron include structural members, sheathing,
roof sheeting, roofing plates (either
tin-plated or terne-plated), grilles,
railings, balustrades, and other decorative
Steel contains 1.2./0 carbon and other element
such as phosphorus, sulfur, and manganese,
and silican which are c t.i-,tr. :_thening
element. The early method of making
steel was to take -wrought iron bars
packed -.ith charcoal in clay containers
and heated for days to obtain a harder
and stronger kind of iron for tools
and swords. Here the iron absorbed
enough carbon to become what is known
as blister steel. Thic was the only
known method of making steel until
the invention of the Bessemer process.
Blister steel was a high quality stee 1
but could be produced only in small
Until about I860 there were only three
important classes of iron-wrought iron,
,steel and cast iron. The essential
characteristic of wrought iron was its
nearly complete freedom from carbon;
that of"'teel was its moderate carbon-
content which, though great enough to
confer the property of being rendered
intensely hard and brittle by srdden
cooling, yet was not so great but that
the metal was malleable when cooled
slowly;" while that of cast iron -was that
it contain o much carbon as to be very
brittle whether cooled quickly or slowly.
Bes :mer Process
Henry Bessemer in 1847 realized that
at 23000F (temperature of molten
iron) silicon, managanese and carbon
would burn when exposed to oxgen in a
blast of air; the temperature would
rise by 300 to 500F. This ment that
quality steel could be produced in a
great quantity from the pig iron produced
in blast furnaces.
Production of Charcoal
After wood charcoal was used as a
fuel for iron production because it
would reach a higher temperatures than
natural wood and use less wood too.
'ood piled in mounds, covered with turf
or leaves and earth, then set
afire in a slow charring flame, and
guarded to see to it that the operation
was carried through safely and sucessfully.
Coke was first considered as a fuel
inl619, but it did not come into extensive
use until about 1730 when Darby applied
it to blast furnace operation,.The natural
durability of pure charcoal iron, compared
with coke and coal iron with its high
sulfur content is that charcoal iron
does not readily rust.
Increasing the sizes of the hammer
marked a distinct advances in iron
technolo gy. The hammer was operated
by water power, until the invention of
the steam hammer in 1838. During the
eighteenth century, iron was seldom
rolled, most was hammered, although
Henry Cort in England understood the
rolling process as early as 1754. But
rolling mills were not in general
operation in the United Stases until
the early part of the Nineteenth
b. Sources of Procurment
Iron Act 1750
The advances in American iron tech-
nology a:s early attraction of the
home government. Hearings held in the
House of Commons in 1740 on the completion
that was developin- between the iron
manufactures in America and England
revealed a falling off of one-third
the use of bar iron in England. English
axes had not been shipped to ,New England,
New YOrk or Pennsylvania and only a few
to the Carolines, since 1722. In 1750
the House of Commons imposed aniron
Act which put drastic restriction upon
the erection of ironworks in the
colonies. This was due to the depression
in England created by the lack of a
demand for English goods.
Time Of Revolution
By the time of the American Revolution
the colonies were operating nearly two
hundred iron forces. American-made
iron ranked third among the iron producing
countries of the world, led only by
Russia and Swedan. It is pointed out
in the Encyclopedia of American History,
"the colonies produced 1/70 th of the
world"s iron supply in 1700 but in 1775
1/7 th more than England and 'Wales combined."
i!. ?astenings for woodwork and .a .onry(Owrought, cast)
a. Nails, screws, bolts and rivet.
Colonial iron-workers manufactured cast-
iron articles, farm-implements, anchors
nails, and the like. For making the
best nails, Russian and Svwedish bar iron
was generally used, though the native
product was not overlooked. The Creat
industrial era of the nineteenth century
brought in it' machines-cut nail, the
machine pointed :crew, the cast iron
latch and,ect. which gradually displaced
the hand-wrought articles of the earlier
b. %einforcin. strap:
c. Tie rods, anchor irons, joist hanger, ect.
d. tone cramps
III. Iron for framing" -.alls and floors
Philip and Lee
The Cotton mill of Phillip and Lee
represents one of the early experiments
in the use of iron pillars and beams
for the whole interior framework of a
building. For the first time iron
beams are used in combination with
these iron columns-wrought irongirders
cart iron columns.
"The first great engineer to use
ca-t iron extensively qas the English-
man John Smeaton. In a long career
that extended from the mid-century
to his death in 1792, he made the
material familiar to builders in a
wide range of machines and structures.
the decisive step in the direction
of iron framing was the application
of the material to columns. St. Anne's
Church, Liverpool (1770-1772) was
the first building in England with
cast iron columns, and may have been
the first anywhere."
-illion Stratt of Derby combined all
the new techniques in iron to build
the first muttistoried, iron-framed,
fireproof building, the Calico *-ili
at Cerby (1792-93 ), but the most notable
early attempt to achieve total fireproofin.g
was "Robert Lill's Public Record Office
(now called the Fireproofing Building)
at Charleston, South Carolina (1822-23).
Iwills aim was to produce the most
durable and incombustible structure
possible at the time. The basement,
cornices, stairways, and porticos of
the building are stone; the walls and
interior vaults are brick; the wooden
roof is sheathed in copper;and sash,
frames, amd shutters are iron."
Badger and Bogarduc
The two men most responsible for
making the construction of cast iron
buildings into a major industry were
Daniel Badger and James Bogardus.
Established foundries in 1840 in I'anhatton
and competitors for the next thirty
".ad(ger began the famous Architectural
Iron 'orks, which was within t'o years
to begin the production of iron fronts
and interior members for use throughout
the Last and iidwest. The bulk of his
commerical buildings were from
two to six stories high, with individual
stories varying in height from 9 to 14
feet; spandrel depth was about 2 feet ;
column spacing in the facade was generally
six feet, the hollow columns were seldom
less than 12 inches in diameter. Interior
framing generally consisted of iron
columns and timber floor beams. All
joints were made by bouting on member
to another through flanges." The iron
front-_ of Badger pointed clearly to the
iron-and steel framed skycrapers and
to modern structural systems in steel.
Business. flourished prodigiously during
the two decades from 1850 tol860 at
Bad.ger's Architectural Iron Workes.
The best known of hi' buildings in Nelw
York City is the five story block at
Broadway and Broone Street, originally
constructed as, the department :tore of
E. V. Haughwout and Company 1857. The
architect was John P. Gaynor. It was
here in the Haughwout store the Otis
installed the first passenger elevator
in the United states.
As for James Boardus in 1847 the growth
of his business necessitated a major
expansion of his -hop facilities. He
made a cast iron modle of the new
building, which was to be wholly
constructed of iron-columns, beams,
spandrels, mullions, sash, inside and
out. He began construction in 1848 at
the corner of Centre and Duane street,
New York, and was completed in 1849.
After only a decade the widening
of Dune street in 1859 required the
remove of the building, which was
taken down pice by piece simply by
loosening and drawing out the bolts.
Bogardus's stated that his building
could be disassembled and reconstructed
on any site-no record that it ever was.
a. Column;:: cast-circular-hollow, cast-
cruciform (feathered), other types
b. Joists, beams and girders; cast and
rolled (I's and deck beams, T's, L"s),
compound girders, cast open-web girders,
plate girders, mixed types
IV. Ironwork for Framing Roofs
a. Rafter,- and opurlins
b. Ties and collar beams
d. ..i-cellaneous bracing pieces (tension
e. Prefabricated truss assemblies: triangular,
latticed and arched and combinations
f. Accessories: wall plates, shoes, rollers
E. Iron parts for mixed wood-and-iron trusses
V. Cornices, gutters and don -r.'outs
VI. Cast and wrought iron window frames and
VII. Iron door frames, doors and shutters, vault
VIII. Iron stair-iays
IX. Iron floors and ceilinl-
Iron balconies' and verandahs
AI. Railings and gates
XII. miscellaneous ornament
XIII. Prefabricated building, mainly of iron
G. Sheet metals:
I. Lead: cast or rolled
III. Sheet iron; roller flat or corrugated
alvanized iron (zinc plated)
Hardware and Fixed Equipment
A. Distribution and procurement: Imported
and domestic sources, -stock hardware
from the ironmonger and the hardware
dealer, custom-made by local smiths
B. Door furniture
1. Iron lintles ans frames
2. Hanging devices; Hinges of iron, brass
silver plated, tin-plated; Pintles
3. Locking devices
b. BoltF' ( 'ingle and double door')
c. Latche': (Norfolk, Suffolk) spring
d. Box locks (iron, brass and wood cases)
e. Mortice lock
-. Padlocks and haspo
h. Door chains
4. IVi cellaneouc
a. Door closer
d. Foot scraper
e. 1Kame and number plate-
f. weather stripping
C. Jindo,,, Furniture
1. Iron lintels and frame.
2. For casements: Haning- device;7,
3. For horizontal sliding cash
4. For vertical sliding sash: locking
devices ('tops, spring catches, swivel
locks) suspension devices weightst,
pulleys and sash cords)
4. Hardware for outside wooden shutters
6. Hardware for inside wooden shutters
hinges, bar for fastening, knobs and
7. Blinds outside rolling iron
8. Blinds: inside Venetian, roller-type
. -well, Ayrton brought iron and its Decorative'
use, Scribner' Sons, 1929 New York
.eerlingw-, Gerald Kennth "rou.ht Iron in Architecture
New York, Scribner c1929, 1972
Gloag, John A History of cast iron in Architecture
London, C. Allen and Unvin 1948
eerlings, l.erald Kenneth iietal Crafts in
Architecture, Ne'vr York, Scribner's
Sons 19 9
Smith, Donald Metalwork; and Introductory Historical
Survey, New York, B. T. Balsford 1948
Acton, James _rou.,_-ht Iron, Pittsburgh, Penn.
1939 A. A Byers Co.
Deac, Alston The Early Ironwork of Charleston,
Columbia, S. C. Bostick& Thornley 1941
A History of Technolory Vol. V Late nineteenth
Century 1850 to 1900 Oxford Clarendon
press c 1958
Bridenbaugh, Carl The Colonial Craftsman
University of Chicago Press 1971
Conduit, Carl American Building Art 19th&20th
Century. Ne, York Oxford University Press
The Silversmith in 18 century illiamsur :
Published by Colonial ..illiamsbur7 1972
The Blacksmith in 18 Century illiu
'illiamnabur.7 Craft Series Publishe1 by
Colonial Filliam bur. 1971
Oliver, John i. iltory of American Technology
Ronald Pre.-. Co. 1956
iccl i ion
,, 1 a *
pace time i- Architecture Cambridge,
Harvard Univ. Press
Latrobe, Ferdinand C, Iron MIen and Their Do"
Baltimore; Ivan R. Drechsler 1941
Kauffmran, Henry J. American Axes
Vermont Stephen -'reene Pres
'treetr, Donald Antique- Ag. '54 "Early Wrought
iron Hardware;spring latches" page 125
'loane, ;ric Aus.eum of Early American Tools
e YOrk Funk and Wanalls 1964
The S:ncyclopaedia Britannica; University
P -res-Cambrise, England 1910 & 1957
EncycloTaedia of Ironisteel Industry
Philosophical Library inc. 1956
GLOSSARY OF METAL TERMS
ABRASION-- abration is the erosion of the metal
caused by dirt, dust,sand grit,
.' I'ILING-- is the process of softening
steel so that it can be worked by cutting
tools. It ic done by heating the piece in the
fire to bolld-red heat, then allowing it to
ANVIL-- has had the same basic shape since
ancient times; made of cast or wrought iron,
may weight up to about three hundred pounds.
BLOOD-iJjD HEAT-- is called for when the
iron is not to be reshaped but only the surface
to be smoothed.
C ASE-HARD ',iT -- is the process of hardening
the outer surface of iron or steel, while
leaving the core soft and therefore tougher.
CHARCOAL-- the blackish residue consisting
of impure carban obtained by removing the volatile
constituents of animal and vegetable substances;
wood gives origin to v!ood-charcoal.
CHARCOAL IRON-- like wrought iron but has
higher carbon content and a considerably lower
COKE-- the product obtained by strongly heating
coal out of contact with the air until volatile
constituents are driven off. It consist
essentially of carbon.
CRIEEP-- is the continuous thinning of roofing
metals, sometimes caused by stressinrg under
relatively high temperatures.
DRA,/ING IO.N (or dra.inj out or heating: out)-- is
the smiths phrase for thinning and lengthening
a piece of metal by heating and hammering it.
FAC]-- anvil's upper surface is flat, smooth,
so hard that a file will not cut it, and
made of cast steel welded to the wrought
FARRIR-- a smith who made, fitted, and applied
shoes to hores, mules, and oxen.
FORES-- 31acksnith's fire- consist of a
square hearth, usually raised about two and
a half feet and made of brick, with a bellows a t
the side or back to blow the fire, a hood or
hovel above to carry somke and fumes away.
HARDI I HOLL( swag:e hole)-- is designed to
take the square shanks of a variety of special-
purpo-z bottom tools- which made their
impact on the underside of the work when the
smith strikes it from above.
HORN-- (beak, bick, bicken, or pike)- cone
shaped rejectionn of anvil, used to curve or
round pieces of iron such as rings, links,
LAG Ii -- a strip of steel welded on to
wrought iron heads to make cutting edges or
faces for axes, hoes and laws.
PRITCHL iHOLE-- near the heel of anvil is
a. round hole used when a smith is punching a
hole through a piece of metal, he positions it
the pritchel hole so that the punch will pass
into the hole rather than strike the face
of the anvil.
FUDDLIN -- a process invented about 17841 by
H enry lort in using a reverberatory furnace with
the hearth hollowed out to forma cand-lined
puddle and by usins coal instead of charcoal,
was able to convert pig iron (cast iron) into
wrougbt iron by stirring this puddle during refinin:.
This :as known as "dry puddling"; waceful, 30/,
loss of iron. 1830 Hall, used iron oxide
for lining the furnace, reduced loss to 10OS and
,shortened time of heating. This was known
as "wet "uddling".
LA-'-- in the bla,-t fulrnacet, the molten
.non- metallic layer formed by the reaction of the
flux and the -an rue of the ore, which floats
on the surface of the molten pig iron.
T~7L-- small square area of anvil between
horn and face.
e .RII .-- opposite of annealing, in that
it slightly -often: and toughen,', iron or steel.
It is accomplished by bringing the object to
the proper heat- which may differ according
to the product involved- and then and quenching
it in water.
Sroe.,-- process of thickening-by hammering'
on the end of a rod and i:. the technique used
in making the head of the nail.
VIST-- smiths vice are of twe type, the
larger standing vise, used to hold iron for bending
riveting, filing, or polidhing, and the small
or hand vise to hold work of iniailar size. In
both cases the work will have already undregone
the major part of its framing on the anvil, and
the vico cones into use alnmo.t solely for
LDI .,-- at the proper heat two pieces placed
firmly face to face will- if the faces are
clean-,tick together without further ado. The
eld i hammered together on the anvil to
refine the grain of the .retal as it cools.
,HITrS.IITH-- a worker in iron who finishes
or poli'.he- the work, in di ,'tinction form
one who forges it.
1647-- first successful ironwrkes in Brithish
-American began production -au-us, _ass.
1700-- Earby- first ,uce fully smelted iron
ore dith coke.
1720-- tinplate first .uce-; fully manufactured
1728-- Payn and :amburg'' rolling mill for
rollin' shest iron.
1750-- Iron act
1766-- John 'meaton's cylindrical cast iron
bellows in place of the wooden and
1783-- Cort invention of grooved rollers.
17T8'-- Cort dry iuddlin' )rocesJ
18-0-- -Hall, et puddlin: proce-ss.
1838-- Jane,: a my the's steam hammer.
1847-- E ,m2em--er Proces
1851-- Crital Place built for"-reat Exhibition
in Hyde Park, London. Vi'ixed construction
or r,,rou,.ht iron and cast example of
prefabicated structural units.
1855-- manufacture of vwroulht iron "I" beams.
1871-- "enier Chocolate ,'orkes at Cioisiel, by
Jules Saulnier, the earliest example
of a skeleton frame.
1883-- Jenney-MIone I-surance Company; Chica:o
cast iron columns, v-rought iron beams
and first use of Bessemer steel in beans
in an quantity in an important building..
1Q89-- Ziffel Tower- wrought iron; Paris Exhibition
and Ia.11 of clachines
1896-- thou-ght first -teel framed building ;
'.;est Hartlepool, Furniture I'arehouse;
)LID' LI JT
introduction ilide of forge
Early smeltin" of ore
Furance in production of cast iron
Vlaking of ca:t iron bars
meltingr of aluminum
nmith'o forf e
mnith'3 for :in. anchor
Jilliam^bur- reproduction blacknrmith
F am e
Air bellow, '.illiamnbur.r reproduction
:Whitesmith at work
Production of charcoal
Production of charcoal
17. Ilinning of coal
action. ollini ill
19. Section of iron form rolling mills in ngland.
20. Proved roller designed by Cort
14.Robert iill's Public Record Buildinu
15. Factor of Jame2 Boardus 1847
16. HauChout Buliding- Broadway Broone NY. 1857
17. Ca:-t iron facada
18.Ca.t Iron Column-
,19. Cast iron Bea .
:0. ami e
1. -l1s 'rou'ht
2. Nail Header-
3. Nails. heads
4'. illiamsbur: repo. nails & 18th century nails
5. Rivers in factors walk Savannah Ca.
6. Rivets iller Shop St. Au,.
7. 'iroutht iron tie rods
0. tie rod connection
9. Anchor iron:: Savannah, a.
0.. Stone cramps '1illiansbur reproduction
11. First cast iron bridge 1779 river seven
Thomas Pritchard Architecture
1'. Phillips & Lee Cotton fill -rn.hester 1801
fir.:t successful u e of cast iron beams
as structurall unit
pa -e three
Cart iron railroad bridge
Elevation L -ection of Aidewalk cast iron
Railroad track & pavement
Fair store Chicago 1892 jenney riveted
Roof "upportv millerr shop 3t. AuF.
Cornices of cant iron
Same plus urn
Cornice' connection to columns
Tin store front Savannah Ga.
T tail cornices tin front Savannah, Ga.
Capt iron stair.'ay
New'el post Savannah Ua.
Oate A Braces, 'irst Presbyterian Church
:ate & Brace- Charlestion, 3. C.
,letal work New York
.Iileq 7rewton Charleston 1700'
'Yetal work Ve. York
Lantern standard .c. Society Hall
Altar rail .3t. 'Iichael' s Church
;prin.rw house metal Charlestion S. C.
Tin -hbeatinr- facada