The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum

In the mid-19th century, the iron industry in the United States was relatively young. Due to the suppression of the industry by England, most places of iron making did not see their start before 1776. American entrepreneurs adapted their business models after Europe, which took time to take hold in the American landscape. Due to this, by the time of the first railroads, iron making sites were fragmented and dealt in small orders. Industrialization and the railroads changed this. For example, Lukens Steel (known at that time as Huston and Sons) grew in size and innovations in the process changed dramatically, leading to less reliance on local furnaces such as Hopewell, Hibernia, Robesonia, Cornwall, and others to create products, while also making the operation more efficient. Large orders required for the booming railroad could now be more easily met.