The Pottsville Journal states that the total production of iron in England, in 1740, amounted to seventeen thousand tuns ; the returns of 1855, however, show a total production for that country of more than three and a half millions of tuns. The present annual production of iron in the world is, in round numbers, seven millions of tuns. In 1782, the total quantity of hammered iron exported from England was 427 tuns. In 1854, the total quantity of pig iron exported was 293,000 tuns; of puddled and rolled iron, 883,000 tuns. There are now in England 599 furnaces, with an average yield each of 6,000 tuns per annum. Two hundred and thirty thousand men and two thousand steam engines are constantly employed in the manufacture. The value of the gross product is equal to $125,000,000. In the United States, ten years ago, no iron rails were made. Two years ago, 135,000 tuns were manufactured. The product of the Lehigh region in 1855, was 140,000 tuns. The valley of the Schuyl-kill produces annually 100,000 tuns. The Susquehanna valley produces 200,000 tuns ; the valley of the Potomac, 80,000 ; and the Southern States, 40,000; Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri, 300,000 tuns. The aggregate value of United States manufactures, by the return of 1855, was $50,000,000.
This article was originally published with the title "Iron Production" in Scientific American 13, 22, 176 (February 1858)