IRON. Iron-mining ranks in importance next to coal, iron ore, like coal, being very widely distributed in the United Shiites. In 1901 25 States reported its production. The mining of iron began in early colonial days and it was the first mineral mined in the country. However, it did not rise into importance until near the middle of the nineteenth century. From a total output in that year of 1,5(50.442 long tons there was • a steady increase to 5,250, 402 long tons in 1870, 16,276,584 long tons in 1890• and 23,387,479 long tolls in 1901, valued at the mines in the last-named year at $49,256,245. The production of pig iron exceeded that of Great Britain for the first time in 1890, and in 1902 was over twice as great, and equaled the com bined output of Great Britain, Germany, and Belgium. Of the total output in 1901 the red hematite variety amounted to 24.006.025 long tons, brown hematite 3,016,715. the magnetite 1.813.076, and the carbonate 51,663 long tons. The Lake Superior ore is almost wholly of red hematite variety. The Virginias are the largest producers of brown hematite. Pennsylvania and New .Jersey yield the largest quantities of mag netite. Alabama and Tennessee produce consid erable quantities of both red and brown hema tite. Prix• to 1870 Pennsylvania was the chief iron-producing State, and yielded in that year 44 per cent. of the total product. This and other States east of the Appalachian Mountains pro duced 62 per cent. of the output for that year. Since then other regions have so far outstripped Pennsylvania and other Eastern States that the latter have become comparatively unimportant, as will be seen in the preceding tattle.
To this should be added in 1901 Wisconsin and Tennessee each with over 700,000 tonsr and Colorado and New Jersey with over 400,000 tons each. The development of the Lake Superior
iron region is one of the most signifieant of re cent industrial movements in the United States. It has been rendered possible largely through the advantage afforded by the Great Lakes for transportation. With the improvement of the canals connecting the lakes and the increased tonnage of vessels there has been a resulting decrease in freight rates and a greater impetus given to the mining industry. (See section on TRANSPORTATION.) The industry has also profited by the improved methods adopted to facilitate the transfer of the ore in transit and especially by the use of machinery and the mining opera tions themselves. Furthermore, in the princi pal mining range—Alesabi—the ore is sometimes found so near the surface that with the removal of a few feet of earth it is mined by the open-pit method, the ore being scooped by huge .steam shovels directly from being pit to the car. ably in no other mines in the world does massive Machinery play so great a part in mining opera tions :Ina hand labor so little. Work in the :Mesabi Range began in 1892, and the output grew rapidly until 1901, when it amounted to 9,303,541 long tons. The Southern iron region shares with the Northern Appalachian region in the advantage of having coal and limestone, two esentials in the reduction of the ore and found in close proximity to the ore itself. The South has the additional advantage of cheap labor, but it is under the dis advantage of having a limited local market.