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From which it appears that the quantity consumed during the last nine years, was nearly three times as large as during the preceding eighteen years.
The annual shipments of coal coastwise, from Philadelphia, have been as follows:
1822, 4 vessels carrying 181 tons.
do do 19,378
156,154 1835, 2,361 do
267,139 1836, 3,225 do do
344,812 " Daring the subsequent nine years, the returns are incomplete.
During the year 1846, there were cleared from Richmond, the depot of the Reading Railroad Company Ships,
7,485 The quantity of coal (Schuylkill) shipped in the above vessels amounted to 883,489 tons.
During the same period, there cleared from Philadelphia and Bristol, laden with Lehigh Coal, fourteen hundred and sixty-eight vessels, exclusive of boats, carrying 181,792 tons. As far as ascertained, these vessels comprised Barks,
3 Class unknown.
1468 Total number of clearances from the port of Philadelphia in 1846, eight thousand, nine hundred and fifty-three vessels, carrying one million, sixty-five thousand, two hundred and twenty-eight tons of coal, in addition to the quantity shipped in boats from the Lehigh mines.
The quantity of coal which passed through the Delaware and Raritan Canal, to New York, has been as follows:
171,754 tons. 1843,
339,924 The three Anthracite Coal fields of Pennsylvania, are each about 65 miles in length, and 5 miles in width, embracing an area of 325 square miles, or 208,000 acres each. The aggregate is 975 square miles, or 624,000 acres.
We estimate the supply of Anthracite Coal for 1847, at 2,800,000 tons. The value of this quantity at $4 per ton, which may be taken as the average price at tide-water, is $11,200,000. The importance of this trade to the City of Philadelphia, while it is great in other respects, is shown strongly in the fact that a large portion of the coal lands are owned there, and the revenue therefor, re. verts to its citizens. The constantly increasing use of this fuel in other parts of the country, tends to keep the balance of trade with other cities in favor of Philadelphia; and this tendency must increase with the increasing demand for coal. The coal trade of Great Britain has made the Port of Newcastle, which would otherwise be an unimportant place, second only to London in the amount of its shipping. A similar effect the coal trade may have upon the Port of Philadelphia, making it the great shipping port of the Union.
It is interesting and amusing to look back to the first attempts to use the Anthracite Coal, and to bring it to market. Charles Miner, Esq., of Wilkesbarre, in his published account of his first efforts, in connection with Mr. Cist and other associates, relates some pleasant anecdotes.
A hunter had first discovered the black earth which covers the coal at Mauch Chunk, and reported the discovery to Jacob Weiss, Esq., of Lehighton, who caused an examination to be made, and found Anthracite Coal within ten feet of the surface. The land, which had not been appropriated, was immediately taken out of the land office, and a company was formed, which partially opened the mine, and brought some small parcels of coal to Philadelphia. The diffi. culty of kindling the coal prevented its introduction into use, and the project slept for twenty years, During the war with Great Britain, bituminous coal rose to high prices. Judge Jesse Fell had shown that Anthracite Coal could be burned in grates, and it had been for several years used in Wilkesbarre and the neighboring towns. The demand for fuel in Philadelphia now led Mr. Miner and Mr. Cist to contrive a plan for mining and transporting the Mauch Chunk coal. On the 9th of August, 1814, they started off their first ark from Mauch Chunk. “In less than eighty rods from the place of starting, the ark struck on a ledge, and broke a hole in her bow. The lads stripped themselves nearly naked, to stop the rush of water with their clothes." In six days, however, the ark reached Philadelphia with its 24 tons of coal, which had by this time cost fourteen dollars a ton. « But,” says Mr. Miner, "we had the greater difficulty to overcome of inducing the public to use our coal, when brought to their doors. We published handbills, in English and German, stating the mode of burning the coal, either in grates, in smiths' fires, or in stoves. Together we went to several houses in the city, and prevailed on the masters to allow us to kindle fires of Anthracite in their grates, erected to burn Liverpool coal. We attended at blacksmiths' shops, and persuaded some to alter the Too-iron, so that they might burn the Lehigh coal; and we were sometimes obliged to bribe the journeymen to try the experiment fairly, so averse were they to learning the use of a new sort of fuel.”
How like a fable all this seems at the present day! As we sit before our coal fires, and think of no other, how little do we realize that thirty years ago Mr. Miner and Mr. Cist were trying the experiment of an Anthracite fire at Wilkesbarre, and wondering whether they could not float an ark load of the coal to Philadelphia! Now we are reckoning the coal trade in millions of tons!
In the Schuylkill region the effort was made a little earlier. In 1812, Col. George Shoemaker loaded nine wagons, with coal at the place now knou'n as the Centreville Mines, and proceeded to Philadelphia.
- Much time was spent by him in endeavoring to introduce it to notice, but all his efforts proved unavailing. Those who deigned to try it, declared Col. Shoemaker to be an im. postur for aitempting to impose stone on them for coal, and were clamorous against him. Not discouraged by the sneers cast upon him, he persisted in the undertaking, and at last succeeded in disposing of two loads, for the cost of transportation, and the remaining seven, he gave to persons who promised to try to use it, and lost all the coal and charges.”
THE MANUFACTURE OF IRON. The earliest iron works in Britain were in the forest of Dean, where, says a quaint historian, "abundance of wood is yearly spent.”. In the reign of Elizabeth, the effect of the iron works in producing a scarcity of timber for shipbuilding was felt; and in 1581 an act was passed requiring that, inasmuch as "the necessary provision of wood doth daily decay and become scant,” no new Iron works should be erected within twenty-two miles of London, nor within fourteen miles of the river Thames; and a subsequent act ordered that “no timber of the size of one foot at the stub, should be used as fuel, at any iron work." In the reigns of James I. and Charles I. attempts were made to smelt iron with pit-coals, but without success; and the iron works in many parts were stopped entirely, and in others diminished their operations.
About 1620, Edward Lord Dudley discovered a process for the use of pitcoal, and obtained a patent. He erected a furnace, and succeeded in making seven tons of iron per week; but the mob destroyed his works, and defeated his plans, and it was a century before his process came into general use.
A historian, writing in the reign of Charles II., says-“Very many measures of iron stone ore are placed together under the great ten yards thickness of coal, and upon another thickness of coal two yards thick, not yet mentioned, called the bottom coal, or heathern coal, as if God had decreed the time when and how smiths should be supplied, and this island also, with iron; and most especially that this coal and iron-stone should give the first and last occasion for ihe invention of making iron with pit-coal.” The same writer states that in the twelfth year of James I., there were in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, 800 furnaces, forges or iron-mills, making iron with charcoal. Of these he reckons 300 to have been blast furnaces, each making 15 tons of pig iron per week, and some 20 tons, working 40 weeks in the year; the forges making from three to six tons of bar iron per week.
For want of a supply of fuel, the quantity of iron manufactured in Great Britain steadily decreased, although the demand increased. Recourse was there fore had to foreign countries. From 1710 to 1718 the quantity imported from foreign countries annually, (being chiefly from Sweden and Spain,) averaged' about 17,000 tons, and the duty upon it about £35,000. As late as 1769, there were imported from Russia alone, 34,000 tons.
In 1775 commenced a new period in the history of the iron manufacture. Mr. Watt's improved steam-engine then came into use, for pumping water from the mines, and for blowing furnaces. In 1783 Mr. Cort obtained two patents, one for the process called puddling, and the other for rolling machines. These advantages led to a rapid increase in the manufacture of iron.
In 1788 there were in England, Wales and Scotland, the following furnaces :
VOL. I.-MAY, 1848. 8
26 making 14,500 tons.
85 In 1796 there were, in all, 121 furnaces, making 125,079 tons.
In 1806, an accurate return was made to parliament, which showed the following result:Coke furnaces
222 making 250,406 tons. Charcoal "
378 1,347,790 1841,
not stated 1,387,551 It is estimated that the annual manufacture of iron in Great Britain has now reached two millions of tons. In Scotland the manufacture was found to have trebled in six years prior to 1845. At the beginning of June, 1846, there were in blast in Scotland, 95 furnaces; out of blast, 35; making a total of 130. The furnaces in blast at that time produced an average of 110 tons per week each; or at the rate of 543,400 tons a year for all.
The quantity of iron imported into Great Britain in 1839, was 24,360 tons; the most of which came from Sweden.
The hot blast (one of the most important inventions in the history of the iron manufacture), was first suggested in 1829, by Mr. Neilson of Glasgow, who took out a patent. This discovery, being found of greater value in Scotland than in England, on account of some peculiarity of the Scotch coal, greatly increased the iron manufacture of that country. A Scotch manufacturer, in writing on the subject, pronounces the hot blast one of the greatest discoveries in metallurgy of the present age.”
In 1838, Mr. Crane, an iron-master in South Wales, made known to the British Association, that he had succeeded in applying the hot blast to the anthracile coal, with complete success! This step in the progress of discovery, opened a new world in Pennsylvania. The news of it made known to us the great design of our vast anthracite coal deposits.
In Russia, iron-ores have been known from time immemorial, but we have no information respecting mining operations in early periods. In 1569 the English obtained by treaty, the privilege of seeking for and smelting iron ore, on condition that they should teach the Russians the art of working this metal, and pay, on the exportation of every pound, one half-penny. Peter the Great himself wrought in the iron works, before he set out in 1698, on his first journey into foreign countries. Remaining some time in Saxony, he not only made himself acquainted with the arts of mining, but requested the King of Poland to give him some workmen, and in the following year twelve were obtained. In 1719, Lieut. Col. Henning, by order of the emperor, traveled through several countries of Europe to collect information respecting mines and foundries, and on his return, wire manufactories, forges for steel, &c., were set up.
All iron works erected with the assistance of the crown, pay a tax of about six cents on each pood of raw iron, and those without that assistance, about four cents. The pood is 36 English pounds. For every forge the owner pays the crown 200 rubles yearly, or about $184.
The number of people employed in some of the iron works in Russia is as• Exclusive of North Wales, which for 1823 is estimated at 10,000 tons, and for 1830, at 25,000.
tonishing. At the crown mines of Barnaul 48,000 boors are employed. The iron works of the Stroganof family have about ihem and on the district belonging to the family, 83,000 yassals of the male sex! Many of the private works give rise to villages, which are in size and population like our cities.
The Barnaul mines afford some ore which yields from 50 to 60 per cent. of iron. But 25 per cent. is more common.
The exports of iron from all the ports of Russia except those of the Caspian, in 1793, were:
Value in Rubles.
901,464 Cast ironware
44,433 The ruble is 3s 1d sterling, and is divided into 100 copecs.
In 1828 there were in the Russian dominions 19 foundries, forges and mines belonging to the crown, and 148 establishments belonging to private families.
The exports of bar-iron from St. Petersburgh to America were as follows in the years specified:
278,264 The exportation of iron from Russia has been upon the decline since 1784.
Sweden has long been celebrated for its iron. In 1740 there were 496 foundries for making bar-iron and other iron manufactures, which produced 40,600 tons. In that year the government established an office to promote the production of iron, by lending money on the ore, even at so low a rate as four per cent.
In 1833 there were in Sweden from 330 to 340 smelting furnaces, producing about 90,000 tons of pig.iron. The smelting furnaces are licensed for a particular quantity. These licenses are granted by the College of Mines, which has a control over all the iron works and mining operations. The iron-masters make annual returns of their manufacture, which must not exceed their privilege; on pain of the overplus being confiscated.
The iron mine of Dannemora is the most celebrated in Sweden. It has been wrought for four centuries, and still yields abundance of the best iron in Europe. It was first wrought as a silver mine. The annual yield of this mine is about 4000 tons, the whole of which is sent to the house of Messrs. Sykes, in Hull, England,'where it is known by the name of the Oreground iron, taking its name from the port at which it is shipped. The first or best mark is L., which sells at £40 per ton; while the best Russian mark, the C. C. N. D., is seldom higher than £20 per ton.
The cause of the superiority of the Dannemora iron has never been explained. Some chemists ascribe it to the presence of manganese. Berzelius attributed it to the presence of silica in the metal, while oihers suppose it 10 arise from the nature of the process employed.
The exports of iron from Sweden to the United States from 1530 to 1838, were as follows:
Other Iron. 1830,