Farrandsville Iron Furnace – Lock Haven, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Farrandsville Iron Furnace

Lock Haven, Pennsylvania

This abandoned iron furnace was one of the first to use coke—a type of high-carbon fuel—to make iron. 

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The Farrandsville iron furnace constructed in 1837 stands 54 feet tall and is composed of sandstone. It is one of the largest iron furnaces in the United States and a beautiful example of stone construction. 

This furnace was one of the first in America to use the “hot blast” iron technique, with pipes imported from Scotland for that purpose. This technique improved furnace capacity by shooting preheated air into the furnace which increased the temperature. It’s also one of the first to use coke, made from bituminous coal, as a source for ironmaking. At its peak, the furnace could produce 50 tons of iron a week and was only exceeded by Lonaconing Furnace in Maryland

Unfortunately, the nearest supply of iron ore was over 100 miles away. Even the addition of the West Branch Canal was not enough to save the furnace and it closed in 1838, never to smelt again. A brickworks operated on the site until 1925. The furnace was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1991. 

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