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Columbus

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Columbus Iron Works, Front Avenue between Eighth & Tenth Streets, Columbus, Muscogee County, GA



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Data Pages


Item Title


Location
Front Avenue between Eighth & Tenth Streets, Columbus, GA

Find maps of Columbus, GA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1968.

Notes
Survey number HAER GA-28
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-28).
Building/structure dates: 1902 initial construction
Significance: For over a century (1853-1965) the Columbus Iron works supplied the city and surrounding area with a wide assortment of cast iron goods, agricultural implements, industrial and building supplies, and steam engines for river boats, saw mills, and other uses. It was organized as a small operation with a single forge and small rolling mill in 1853. The Civil War greatly expanded its capacity. The Confederate government leased the facility in 1862 and under the direction of Chief Engineer James Warner it manufactured boilers and steam engines for at least 14 Confederate gunboats. Although burned by Federal raiders at the end of the war, the company rebuilt immediately, and the experience with boilers and steam engines gave a distinctive feature and separated it from smaller foundries. By 1880 only the Columbus Iron Works manufactured steam engines within Georgia and was one of only sixteen within the South. The company still produced a whole range of cast iron goods and the Southern Plow Company, a division of the Columbus Iron Works, manufactured plows and agricultural implements. Using the expertise involved in fabricating steam engines and boilers, the company produced its most significant product, the ice machine. From 1880 until the 1920s the company's Stratton ammonia-absorption ice machine was the most widely marketed ice machine in the nation. From the 1920s until 1965 it remained a diversified manufacturing operation. In 1965 the W.C. Bradley Company absorbed the Columbus Iron Works. The present buildings of the Columbus Iron Works, built between 1902 and 1907 after fire destroyed the earlier buildings on the site, have changed little through the years. The southern half of the old plant is owned by the city of Columbus and is being converted into a convention center, while the northern portion is still owned by the W.C. Bradley Company.

Subjects
Agriculture
Navies
Iron Industry


Related Names
Columbus Iron Works
W. C. Bradley Company
William R. Brown & Company
Bradley, W. C.
Brown, William R.
Golden, George J.


Collection
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)

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