Sloss Furnaces Historic Landmark

Prior to the Civil War, iron was made in the South using charcoal. However, so many trees were destroyed in the war that making iron using charcoal was no longer economical. In 1876, Levin S. Goodrich produced the first iron in the area using coke made from local coal. The process was economical and resulted in a higher grade and stronger iron. Within 10 years, the city gained six new blast furnaces. The Sloss furnaces were built in 1882 and rebuilt over the years as industrial engineers mechanized the iron-making process. Although the furnaces ceased operation in 1971, they were deeded to the city and preserved as a historic industrial site.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Industrial & Manufacturing
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:Birmingham, also known as the "Magic City," was founded in 1871 as a real-life "Field of Dreams." The streets were surveyed in a grid pattern in a cornfield, in the area where the Alabama & Chattanooga Railroad was to cross with the South & North Railroad. Since one line was already in place, the engineers could plan where the crossing would be.
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