19th-Century Innovation at a 21st-Century Industrial Park: Archaeological Investigations at the Valentine and Company Iron Ore Washing Plant, Centre County, Pennsylvania
Author(s): Gary F. Coppock
It was during a standard Phase I archaeological survey for a proposed Centre County industrial park that the buried remains of a 19th-century industrial plant − the Valentine Iron Ore Washing Plant (36CE526) − were discovered. Subsequent investigations revealed not only the layout of the facility, but also the important role that a local ironmaster had on the entire iron industry. In 1815 several Valentine brothers relocated to Centre County to lease an idle iron furnace. Soon they were operating a half-dozen ironworks. In 1842 Abraham S. Valentine invented a machine called the log washer that efficiently separated small fragments of iron ore from its clay matrix; an invention that revolutionized ore mining and reinvigorated the late 19th-century iron industry. Thus, it is both ironic, and personally satisfying, that the creation of a 21st-century industrial park shed light on Valentine’s innovation, and its important contribution to the 19th-century iron industry.
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19th-Century Innovation at a 21st-Century Industrial Park: Archaeological Investigations at the Valentine and Company Iron Ore Washing Plant, Centre County, Pennsylvania. Gary F. Coppock. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434651)
middle to late nineteenth century
min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;