Monday, November 16, 2015

Birmimgham Photos of the Day (39): Ensley Furnaces in 1906

The two photos below show Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company's furnaces in Ensley around 1906. The company's complex at Ensley included furnaces, steel works and steel casting divisions, as well as a coke oven plant, cement works, and a pumping station at Village Creek. These massive operations, as well as employee housing, were known as the Ensley Works. The furnaces operated from 1888 until 1976. 

TCI, as the company came to be known, had been founded in 1852 as the Sewanee Mining Company. In 1907 they became U.S. Steel's primary southern subsidiary. The company's operations in the Birmingham area and elsewhere in the state made it one of Alabama's largest employers for decades.

Below the photos is a selection of pages from a book the company published in 1900. Included are a description of the Ensley Furnace Division and the book's title page and first page of the table of contents. The photo of the blowing engines at the furnaces is also from the book.

Source: Detroit Publishing Company via the U.S. Library of Congress Digital Collections [both photos]

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