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Iron

tons, quantity, france, steel, total, pig-iron, produced, britain, exported and coal

IRON. The iron trade in Great Britain in all its various branches is of very great importance. According to the census of 1841 there were employed in Great Britain 10,949 persons in iron-mines, and 29,497 in the smelting of the ore and the manufacture of the metal. The quantity of iron made in this country at different periods is not accurately known, hut the following estimates have generally been considered as not far from the truth by those best acquainted with the subject. The estimate for 1823 and each subse quent year is given on the authority of Sir John Guest, one of the greatest iron masters in this country Tons produced. Tons produced.

1740 . 17,000 1825 581,000 1788 . 68,000 1828 703,000 1796 . 125,000 1835 1.000,000 1806 . 258,000 1836 1,200,000 1823 . 452,000 1840 1,500,000 The next table, wiiich shows the parts of Great Britain in which the manufacture of iron was carried on in 1840, and the quantity made in each district, is taken from the evidence given by Mr. Jessop, of the Butterley Ironworks, Derbyshire, before the Commons Committee on Im port Duties in 1940: Tons.

Forest of Dean . . . 15,500 South Wales . . . 505,000 North Wales . . . 26,500 Northumberland . . . 11,000 Carried Ibrward . . 558,000 Tons.

Brought forward . . 558,000 Yorkshire . . . . 56,000 Derbyshire . . . . 31,000 North Staffordshire . . 20,500 South Staffordshire . . 407,150 Shropshire . . . . 82,750 Scotland . . . . 241,000 1,396,400 The number of furnaces in blast was 402, and 162 used the process of blasting with hot air. Mr. Jessop estimated the quantity of coal used in smelting at 4,877,000 tons, and an additional quantity of 2,000,000 tons, was used in converting the produce of the ore into wrought-iron.

The price of pig-iron has fluctuated daring the ten years from 1835 to 1845 between the two extremes of 61. 13s. per ton in 1836 and 21. 5s. in January, 1843.

About 16,000 tons of foreign iron are annually imported, principally from Sweden, Norway, and Russia. It is used for converting into steel, for which it is better adapted than the English coal smelted iron.

The quantity of iron and steel, wrought and unwrought, exported in 1843 was 448,925 tons, declared value 2,590,8331. In 1844 the declared value of iron and steel exported amounted to 3,194,9011. There are in addition about 17,000 or 18,000 tons of hardware and cutlery ex ported. Mr. Porter estimated the home consumption of British iron in 1841 at 1,139,111 tons. (Progress of the Nation, iii. 87.) The principal countries to which bar iron and pig-iron were exported in 1842, were as under : United States of North Tons. Tons.

America . . 39,964 13,075 Italy . . . 19,854 3,174 Germany . . . 17,783 6,246 E. I. Company's Ter ritories and Ceylon . 17,017 240 Holland . . . 16,980 26,666 Prussia . . . 13,202 12,564 Denmark . . . 6,227 7,573 Turkey and Continental Greece . . • 5,191 • • Carried forward . 136,218 69,588 Bar Iron. Pit; Iron. Tons. 'Ions.

Brought forward . 136,218 69,538 British N. America . 4,971 3,199 France . . . 4,566 16,464 Foreign W. Indies . 3,084 20 All other countries . 33,540 4,636 Total 172,379 93,851 The quantities of other descriptions of iron and steel exported in the same year Were: Tons, Bolt and Rod Iron . . 18,921 Cast Iron 15,934 Iron Wire 1,611 Anchors, Grapnels, &c.. 2,693 Hoops 14,914 Nails 6,000 Other sorts 35,891 Old iron, for re-manufacture 3,890 Un wrought Steel . . . 3,308 The total weight of iron and steel wrought and unwrought (exclusive of hardware and cutlery) exported in 1842 was 369,398 tons, valued at 2,457,7171.

In 1841 there were.smelting-works in 59 different departments of France, and in 20 other departments the making of pig and bar iron was carried on from ore obtained out of the departments. One

half of all the iron made in France in 1841 was produced in the nine depart ments of Haute Marne, Moselle, Cote d'Or, Loire, Nievre, Ardennes, Ober, Haute Saone, and Meuse. Five-sevenths of all the iron is produced in eighteen departments, and the remaining two sevenths are distributed amongst 61 de partments. The number of smelting works, and works for making bar-iron, increased from 894 in 1836 to 1023 in 1841. In the Haute Marne, where the iron-works are on the largest scale, 86 establishments produced iron valued at 479,349/. The total value of all the iron manufactured in France in 1841 was estimated at 5,671,5811., which was an increase of 14 per cent, since 1836. The fuel used was 594,418 tons of wood-char coal, 175,924 tons of coke, 349,276 tons of coal, and 176,659 sthres of wood; and the total products were 377,142 tons of east-iron, 263,747 tons of bar-iron, and 6886 tons of steel. The value of the fuel consumed amounted to 2,179,6641., or 38,} per cent, on the value of the metal. The number of workmen em ployed (including 15,783 miners) was 47,830, which is more than the num ber employed in Great Britain, while the quantity of iron made in France is only one-fourth of that made in England. The price of pig-iron in France was 61.11s. per ton in 1841, and that of bar-iron 15/. 13s. The iron manufacture is, in fact, a very oppressive monopoly in France, and is especially injurious to the agricultural class. The country is not half supplied by the French iron-masters ; enormous duties prevent the supply of foreign iron, and scarcely 50,000 tons are imported annually; and the French submit to the injustice of paying prices which are from 100 to 200 per cent, higher than the same article costs in England. (Jour. of Lend. Stat. Soc., voL vii. 282-291. Paper by G. R. Porter, Esq., ou the Mining In dustry of France.) In Belgium the iron-mines are prin cipally situated between the Sambre and the Meuse, and in the province of Liege. The produce when smelted amounted in 1836 to 150,000 tons.

In 1837 the iron-mines of Prussia pro duced 679,874 tons.

The iron of Sweden is deservedly held in high estimation. The number of smelting furnaces, great and small, in Sweden, is under 350. The annual pro duce is estimated at from 85,000 to 95,000 tons of pig-iron, which is capable of being converted into from 60,000 to 66,000 tons of malleable iron. An iron-master can send no more iron to market than the quantity which he is authorised by his licence to produce. Each furnace and forge pays an annual tax ; and no licence is granted to any one who has not a forest sufficient to supply the necessary char coal. (M'Gregor's Commercial Statistics, ii. 882.) The following particulars respecting the iron manufacture of the United States of North America are from Hunt's 'Merchants' Magazine,' a work of autho rity on commercial statistics. There are 540 blast furnaces, which yield 486,000 tons of pig-iron ; 954 bloomeries, forges, rolling and splitting mills, &c., which produce 291,600 tons of bar, hoop, sheet, and other wrought iron, 30,000 tons blooms, and 121,500 tons as cuttings, such as machinery, stove-plates. Two-fifths of all the iron made in the States is pro duced in Pennsylvania. The total quan tity is rather more than the produce of Great Britain in 1823. The probability is, that in the course of another quarter of a century the United States will be the greatest iron-producing country in the world. The duty on foreign iron varies from 50 to 150 per cent. and the quantity imported is about 100.000 tons per annum. The price of American bar iron in 1845 was from 75 to 80 dollars per ton. The price in England, with a large prospective demand, was under 91. per ton.