Mile Mark: 11.00
Date Built: pre-1894
Published Photos: EBT 223; AEBT 18, 61
Also see the Foundry in the EBT Virtual Shops Tour.
The Foundry provided the shops with all the cast iron and brass parts it needed. The building contains a cupola furnace (a small blast furnace). On the south end are stockpiles of disused and broken metal parts. These were hoisted through the gabled gantry up where they could be fed into the cupola furnace. The Machine Shop provided belt power to the blower assembly under the gantry. It provided the blast to power the furnace. A gated spout on the lower front of the furnace released the molten iron into two person crucibles that could be moved about the room.
Before the blast, the appropriate pattern was retrieved from the Pattern House and was used to form special casting sand in wood casting boxes. The sand was dried in the oven to purge moisture from it. Any moisture would explosively flash to steam when contacting molten iron. Once dried, the castings were moved about the area with the overhead gantry and the molten iron poured from the crucible into the casting. As the iron cooled, it contracted so the patterns were made about 5-10% larger than the finished pieces. Once cool, the piece was removed from the sand for work in the Machine Shop and the sand was recycled. At the end of the blast the bottom of the furnace could be opened and the small amount of slag from previously blasted iron could be removed.
A small brass furnace in the southwest corner operated in the same way, but on a smaller scale.
The building is today one of the more stable of the shops complex, but still very vulnerable to the elements.
HAER info at the Library of Congess site>
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