In the process of extracting iron from the ore, although an object of the utmost consequence, the aid of science has never been employed to the high degree that its manufacture would appear to require:such as it was in the days of our fathers, such it is now, few or no material changes having been made in the mode of making iron from the earliest periods of the art. Considering the vast increase in our knowledge of chemistry during the last half century, it is a great reproach to the iron masters of America and England, that while all other classes have made such rapid strides in the onward progress of improvement they alone have remained quiescent, content to go on in the same hum- drum manner trom one generation to another. This apathy, we are glad to find, has been at last broken into, and a new era of iron-making is about to be inaugurated, in which, we are proud to say, our country will take the lead. A new process for making wrought-iron direct from the ore, independently of the usual introductory melt-ins; into pigs, has been discovered by Mr. Jas. Renton, of Newark, N. J., who has taken measures to secure a patent for the same. A company, with a capital of $100,000, have been formed for the purpose of carrying on the manufacture, and buildings have been in part erected on the Passaic River, at the foot of Parker street, Newark, where the process has been now in successful operation for several weeks. The results of these experiments have been such as are fully conclusive ol the advantages offered by this new method : a good quality of wrought-iron can be made direct from the ore, by which an immense saving in the ordinary manner of using pig-iron is effected. The process is founded upon truly scientific principles, and supersedes the necessity of previously melting into pig-iron, as the ore can be made immediately into blooms, an advantage which will be immediately appreciated by all interested in the manufacture of iron. We have personally visited the place and can, therefore, speak more confidently on the subject ; during our stay we saw the operation carried on, and marked the time required for making the iron, which was at the rate of a ton per day, of twelve hours,3 blooms ol over 70 lbs. each, having been made in about an hour. An improvement like this, on the old-lashioned slow and expensive process, by which the ore or metal has to undergo two successive exposures in the furnace before it can be made into wrought-iron is a great triumph of American skill, we hasten, therefore, to record the event, aud doubt not that other countries, as well as our own, will vie with each other in laying hold of the benefit conferred upon our times by the consequent economy that is now presented to their notice. Any description of fuelwood or coal, both anthracite and bituminous, can be indifferently employed for heating the furnace, and with nearly equal advantage. Further particulars may be known by letter or otherwise, addressed to the above-named gentleman.
This article was originally published with the title "Manufacture of Iron— New Process for Making Wrought-Iron Direct from the Ore"