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Bishop, J. Leander (John Leander), 1820-1868 / A history of American manufactures from 1608 to 1860 : exhibiting the origin and growth of the principal mechanic arts and manufactures, from the earliest colonial period to the adoption of the Constitution ; and comprising annals of the industry of the United States in machinery, manufactures and useful arts, with a notice of the important inventions, tariffs, and the results of each decennial census
Volume 3 (1868)

The great iron works of the United States,   pp. 475-495


Page 489

THE BRIDGEWATER IRON MANUFACTURING COMPANY.
hundred and forty-four by one hundred and thirty-two feet, two
Machine shops, of which the largest is two hundred by one hundred
and fifty feet, two Forges, of which the largest is one hundred and
forty by one hundred feet, an Iron Foundry one hundred and thirty by
ninety feet, a Brass Foundry, and numerous Storehouses, Smith shops,
1   attern shops, etc., comprising in all twenty-eight buildings. The Ima-
chinery is propelled by five Steam Engines, and eleven Water Wheels,
ang the Works consume about fifteen thousand tons of Anthracite and
Bituminous Coal, and forty-eight thousand bushels of Charcoal annually.
The Iron Foundry has two Cupola Furnaces, capable of melting thirty
tons of iron, one Air Furnace that will melt twelve tons, and all the
requisite facilities for producing the largest class of castings. As an
illustration of its capacity we may state, that the castings for several
sloops-of-war were made here, of which the cylinders weighed fifteen
thousand pounds each, the condensers twenty-eight thousand pounds,
and the channel plates thirty-four thousand pounds. The Brass
Foundry is equally well provided for producing ship-castings, and has
turned out a four bladed propeller fifteen feet in diameter, that.weighed
six tons.
In the Machine shops the tools are of a magnitude unprecedented in
this country. The Company have a Lathe that will bore and face
thirty feet diameter, swing eight feet and turn thirty-seven feet long,
another that will turn a shaft sixty feet long, another, forty-seven feet
long, and still others that will turn thirty-eight and thirty-two feet,
respectively; also, a monster machine, just completed, for boring or
facing, with a revolving table of sixteen feet in diameter, besides a
Planing Machine that will take a piece, twelve feet square, and any
length, working two cutters at the same time, and cut off more
Iron in a day than any tool of the kind in America. Among the
planers in the establishment, there is one which will take a piece, thirty-
five feet long and nine feet square; and there are four slotting machines,
one of which, it is believed, is the largest in this country, and another,
only one size smaller, built for the Company, by Whitworth, in Eng-
land.
But the distinctive feature of the Bridgewater Iron Works, which
gives them preaminence, is the Forge Department. In facilities for
producing heavy forgings, no works in America, yet constructed,
equal them.   They have one hammer of the Nasmyth pattern,
which weighs over eleven tons, with ten feet stroke of piston, and
worked by a Rotary valve, that enables the operator to govern it with
such precison, that the shell of a walnut may be cracked off without
hurting the meat, or a bar of iron, three feet square, can be brought
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