Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark Review – Monument to the Industrial Age

 

Muscular…

 

Mammoth…

 

Commanding…

 

 

Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark emerges in the morning mist of Birmingham, a place nicknamed the “Magic City” in reference to its role in the iron-transforming industries that re-made America and the world in the 19th Century. 

 

 

Sloss is the only twentieth-century blast furnace in the U.S. being preserved as an historic industrial site, and to visit it you too might wish that there were more.  

 

 

You can take either a self-guided tour or a weekend group tour. 

 

Hiking around the site in the early morning hours before the crowds arrive does have the added advantage of letting you better hear the ghosts of the past that toiled to make the miracle of iron and coal transformations happen.

 

 

At Birmingham’s Vulcan Park and Museum, for example, you’ll learn of the convict laborer who was thrown into a boiling vat of water as an example when he tried to escape.  That worker was White but most who toiled in these massive Birmingham steel and iron works were African-American, finding themselves in the industrial equivalent of back-breaking sharecropping with negligible financial reward.

 

 

It’s intriguing to learn of the many metal craft classes that Sloss offers today on their website (http://www.slossfurnaces.com/metal-arts/ ).  If you know of a serious metal hobbyist this alone might put a trip to Birmingham on their short list. 

 

For more information visit the Sloss Furnaces website (www.slossfurnaces.com )

 

Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

20 32nd Street North

Birmingham, Alabama 35222

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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