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[graphic header] A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
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[graphic] Lock Ridge Furnace Complex

[photo] Different areas of the Lock Ridge Furnace Complex
Photographs by Sue Pridemore

Construction of the Lock Ridge Iron Furnace began in 1868 during the peak of the anthracite iron industry. Utilizing anthracite coal or coke rather than charcoal as fuel, a hot rather than cold blast to speed oxidation, and a steam engine rather than bellows to force the hot blast into the furnace, anthracite iron making flourished in the valleys of the Susquehanna, Schulkill, and Lehigh Rivers from about 1840 to 1890. Lehigh Valley was the most important center of the industry. The Lock Ridge Furnace continued to operate until after WW I, long after most other furnaces had succumbed to competition from major firms using modern equipment. The site was restored as a park and museum in the early 1970s. The furnace now consists of the furnace room, engine room and cast room of Furnace No. 7; the former weighmaster's house; the oil house; partial ruins of Furnace No. 8 and its associated buildings; the carpenter's shop; the blacksmith shop; and the piers for the trestles which received railroad cars carrying materials. The Lock Ridge complex is one of only two remaining furnaces of the many that were in operation in central and eastern Pennsylvania in 1876.

The Lock Ridge Furnace Museum is located at 525 Franklin St, in Alburtis. The hours are Saturday-Sunday, 1:00pm to 4:00pm, May-September. Call 610-435-4664 or visit the Lehigh County website for more information.

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