Wednesday, January 23, 2008

1892 Morgan Crane to be Preserved

The Tod Engine Foundation has recently acquired an 1892 vintage overhead crane manufactured by Morgan Engineering in Alliance, Ohio. This crane is of particular historical interest and will become an important artifact for display and use at the Tod Engine Heritage Park. The crane was originally built for Otis Steel Co. in Cleveland, and used there until the plant closed after WWII. At that time it was sold and moved to Masury, OH and placed in a new building there. It is there to this day. Still fully operational, the crane continues to make lifts to its rated capacity. However due to its age and its need for a dedicated operator, it is to be replaced with a more modern AC crane.
We will be moving the Morgan crane to the Heritage Park this spring for inclusion in the engine house. however, this complicates matters since to include it in the building we have to redesign the structure for a narrower width and add crane columns and runways. This will increase the cost of the structure, however that will be mitigated by the sale of our current 5 ton Wallace gantry crane. In the end having an authentic steel mill crane in our building will certainly make for a much more authentic visitor experience.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Demolishing the Marshall Street Bridge

Here are the trusses of the Marshall Street Bridge in downtown Youngstown being demolished in October, 2004.

Scranton Iron Furnaces

In Scranton, PA just up the tracks from the Steamtown National Park are four stone blast furnaces. The site is now a park open year round, but a century ago was a bustling iron smelting, puddling and rolling operation. Largely unknown by the throngs that visit Steamtown, it is perhaps one of the most unique stone furnace sites in the nation.
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Turntable Pit in Sharpsville

I'm a bit unclear about who would have built this, but also located in Sharpsville about a half mile downstream of the Shenango reservoir dam is this turntable pit. Its located near the old alignment of the Erie mainline so there may have been a small engine facility at one time. The pit is easily accessible, located on park land near a gravel parking lot on the road which leads up to the dam. I think I paced it off to be 50' diameter.
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Shenango Furnace Pump House

I don't know if this building still stands, but two winters ago I found the former Shenango Furnace river pump house in Sharpsville, PA. To get to it one had to walk along the former Erie mainline from Sharpsville west about a mile. A friend remembers seeing pumps inside the building but all we found was an empty shell. This building would have housed the equipment to pump Shnango River water up to the blast furnaces operated by Shenango, Inc. This is the same plant that the Mesta blowing engine at Pittsburgh's Station Square came from.
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Rivers of Steel in Homestead, PA

Those of us interested in industrial heritage should make a point to visit the Bost Building at the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area in downtown Homestead, PA. The facility includes an archives library and a large exhibit area, pictured here. They are open Monday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturdays by appointment. Across the river can be seen Carrie blast furnaces 6 and 7, which have been spared and will become a future historical site.
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US Steel Ohio Works

The Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor has a wonderful collection of photographs depicting various rebuilds of the Ohio Works blast furnaces in the 1940s and 1950s. This particular photos from their collection shows all six blast furnaces with a section of the stockhouse trestle between 5 and 6 being rebuilt. I am sure this caused some operational headaches for the ironmaking department, although I don't think number 6 furnace was operating at that time.
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