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An Industrial Revolution In Iron—Technology, Organisation And Markets, 1760–1870

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the impact of British coal technology and Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Baltic iron had come to dominate the British market because of the incapacity of Britain’s own forge sector. America replaced Britain as the most important recipient of Swedish bar iron. The ‘New German Forging Method’ allowed for improvements in both quantity and quality, enabling Swedish makers to improve their position on the strategic Sheffield market. Gustaf Ekman had devised a production system ‘Lancashire forging method’ that emulated the British model in a far more thorough-going fashion. The Walloon method shared a common provenance with that used in Uppland, having been transplanted to southern England by francophone forgemen at the very end of the fifteenth century. By 1850, the ‘Atlantic age’ had ended for Baltic iron. After 1850, the Atlantic ocean, in its guise as vector of an ‘iron system’, receded.

Keywords: Baltic iron; British coal technology; British market; Industrial Revolution; Lancashire forging method; New German Forging Method; Walloon iron making



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