Preliminary Archaeological Examination of Ohio's First Blast Furnace: The Eaton (Hopewell)

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1980-03

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Abstract

The Eaton (Hopewell) Furnace located near Struthers, Ohio was built in 1802-1803. The first blast furnace west of the Alleghenies and the first industry of any kind in the Western Reserve, it went out of blast circa 1808 due to a combination of factors and fell into ruin. Historical sources on the Eaton are scarce and informational sources are vague, but archaeological excavations carried out in 1975, 1976, and 1977 have led to some interesting findings concerning early blast furnace operations. Subsequent chemical and metallurgical analyses of furnace artifacts and specimens provided insights into the level of efficiency of the operation and the quality of the raw materials, products, and byproducts. Foremost among these findings is the fact that the Eaton's use of bituminous coal in combination with charcoal was the earliest use substantiated in the New World.

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Author Institution: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Youngstown State University

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The Ohio Journal of Science. v80, n2 (March, 1980), 52-58