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By Robert B. Gordon

This booklet examines the commercial ecology of 2 hundred years of ironmaking with renewal strength assets in northwestern Connecticut. It specializes in the cultural context of people's judgements approximately expertise and the surroundings, and the sluggish transition they effected of their land from business panorama to pastoral countryside.

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Additional info for A Landscape Transformed: The Ironmaking District of Salisbury, Connecticut

Sample text

In 1826 and Samuel Forbes in 1828 (at age ninety-eight), management of their forges, gristmill, and farms in Canaan passed to two of John's sons, Samuel Forbes Adam, a graduate in the Yale class of 1803, and Leonard Adam. The inside-contractor artisans continued to work in their established way while Samuel moved what was now the Adam works away for total dependence on the sale of bar-iron products. 10 As at the forge, he relied on individual artisans to supply most of the services needed at the furnace: individuals working as miners or teamsters (or both) supplied ore from the Davis mine (which Samuel Forbes had acquired in 1796) in wagonloads of twenty to thirty hundredweight each.

He smelted iron ore from the recently-opened mine at Ore Hill and forged products needed by the area's settlers. A few years later he took on John Forbes, also a smith from Hartford, as a partner. Forbes's sons, Samuel and Elisha, learned smithing from their father and the art of bloom smelting from Seymour. 1 To meet the growing demand for their products, the Forbes brothers built a second bloomery forge in Canaan in 1759 and another in Norfolk in 1760; in 1761 they purchased a share in the Chatfield ore bed near Ore Hill, first opened in 1740.

Millwrights needed parts for new gristmills, sawmills, and fulling, paper, and oil mills, as well as repair parts for older ones. Shipbuilders wanted larger anchors as they ventured into making bigger vessels. Samuel and Elisha Forbes enlarged their skills and their works to fill all these needs through the 17608, thereby starting what would prove to be one of the district's most important industries (see chap. 14 Another increase in demand for iron, and a wave for bloomery building, followed the return of men from military service and more stable economic conditions after 1783.

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