Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.
833
IRON AND STEEL


-000 lb per square inch, supplied by pumps .of 16,000 horse power.

132, Statistics.—The cheapen in of manufacture by improvements in processes and machinery, and by the increase in the scale of operations, has been very great. The striking examples of it shown in Table IV. are only typical of what has been going on continuously 111 this same period the production of Great Britain increased '28 %, and that of the world more tha11 tripled. The corresponding changes in the case of steel are even more striking. The United States production in 1907 was 1714 times that of 1865, and the proportion which it formed of the world s steel rose from 3% in 1865 to 10% in 1870, 30% in 1880; 36% in 1890, 40% in 1899 and 46% in 1907. In 1907 the British steel production was nearly five times, that of the TABLE IV.-Reduction in Cost of Iron Manufacture in America-C. Kirchaji 9-Period Cost, Protit and Productiongit End of Period in Percentage covered. of that at Beginning of Period. li Place represented. Operation represented. I A A Cost' Broduc-From T0 Tftgl K Pngit

Orc. Fuel. Ijabour. Total. ex&{';v:, ng Tiim. &c., per iraeriai. Day-

large Southern Establishment Manufacture of Pig Iron 1889 1398 79 64'I 5I'9 63°4 -. 47-9 167'7 North-eastern District . . -, ,, , '1890 1398 1037 97 614 65'8 — 33'9 163'3 Pittsburg District . ., ,, , 1837 1397 — — 45- — ' 44 — Eastern District . ManufactureofBessemerSteelIngots 1891 1898 .. .. 75 64-39 . . 107 Pittsburg ., ,, , 1887 1897 . . .. .. 52 . . Not stated ..., .. Rolling /Vire Rods 1888 1898 . .. .. 63-6 .. .. 325 since 1868. Note, for instance, a reduction of some 35% in the total cost, and an even greater reduction in the cost of labour, reaching in one case 54 '}{, , in a period of between seven and ten years. This great economy is not due to reduction in wages. According to Mr Carnegie, in one of the largest American steel works the average wages in 1900 for all persons paid by the day, including labourers, mechanics and boys, were more than $4 (say, 16s. 6d.) a day for the 31 1 working days. l-low economical the methods of mining, transportation and manufacture have become is shown by the fact that steel billets have been sold at $13-96 (£2, 17s. 8d.) per ton, and in very large quantities at $15 (£3, 2s.) per ton, in the latter case, according to Mr Carnegie, without further loss than that represented by interest, although the cost of each ton includes that of mining 2 tons of ore and carrying them 1000 miles, mining and coking 1-3 tons of coal and carrying its coke 50 m., and uarrying one-third of a ton of limestone and carrying it 140 m., Cbesides the cost of smelting the ore, converting the resultant cast iron into steel, and rolling that steel into rails.

TABLE V.-Reduction in Price of Certain Products. VT Yeaay average Price in Pennsylvania, gross tons. T Date- Bar (Wrought) Wrought Iron Steel I -glad; im. Rails. Rails. Pig, mf

R ISOO 8100-50

1815 144-50

1824 82-50 Hammered

1837 111-oo

1850 59-54 $47-88 $20'88

1365 106-46 98-62 $158-463 46-08

1370 78-96 72'25 10079 33~23

1880 62-04 Best 49-25 67-52 28-48

1890 45 83 refined 25-18 31-78 18-41

1 1898 28-65 rolled 12-39 17-62 11-66

1900 44'00 I9-51 32~29 19-98

I 1906 .. 23-03 28-oo 20-98

I 19031 31100 18-25 28-oo 17-25

1 July 1st. 2 Old, i.e. second-hand wrought iron rails. 3 1868. Table V. shows the reduction in prices. The price of wrought iron in Philadelphia reached $155 (32, os. 8d.) in 1815, an, after declining to S80 (£16, IOS. 8d.), again reached $115 (£23, 15s. 4d.) in 1837. Bessemer steel rails sold at $174 in the depreciated currency of 1868 (equivalent to about £25, 175. 4d. in gold), and at $17 (gg, IOS. 3d.) in 1898.

133. Increase in Production.-In 1810 the United States made about 7%, and in 1830, 1850 and 1860 not far from 10% of the world's production of pig iron, though, indeed, in 1820 their production was only about one-third as great as in 1810. But a ter the close of the Civil War the production increased by leaps and bounds, till in 1907 it was thirty-one times as great as in 1865; and the percentage which it formed of the world's production rose to some 14%) in 1870, 21%, in 1880, 35 31, in 1900 and 43 % in 1907. In this last year the United States production of pig iron was nearly 7 times, and that of Germany and Luxemburg nearly 5 times, that of 1880. XIV. 21

United States nearly nineteen times, as great as in 1880. Of the combined wrought iron and steel of the United States, steel formed only 2 % in 1865, but 37 % in 1880, 85 % in 1899 and QI % in 1907. Thus in the nineteen years between 1880 and 1899 the age of iron gave place to that of steel.

The per capita consumption of iron in Great Britain, excluding exports, has been calculated as 144 Ib in 1855 and 250 Ib in 1890, that of the United States as 117 lb for 1855, 300 Ib for 1890 and some 378 lb for 1899, and that of the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany for 1906 as about a quarter of a ton, so that the British per capita consumption is about four-fold and the American about five-fold that of 1855. This great increase in the per capita Consumption of iron by the human race is of course but part of the general advance in wealth and civilization. Among the prominent causes of this increase is the diversion of mankind from agricultural to manufacturing, 'i.e. machinery-using work, nearly all machinery being necessarily made of iron. This diversion may be unwelcome, but it is inevitable for the two simple reasons that the wonderful improvements in agriculture decrease the number of men needed to raise a given quantity of food, i.e. 'to feed the rest of the race; and that with every decade our food forms a smaller proportion of our needs, so rapidly do these multiply and diversify. Among the other causes of the increase of the per capita consumption of iron are the displacement of wood by iron for ships and bridge-building; the great extension of the use of iron beams, columns and other pieces in constructing buildings of various kinds; the growth of steam and electric railways; and the introduction of iron fencing. The increased importance of Germany and Luxemburg may be referred in large part to the invention of the basic Bessemer and open-hearth processes by Thomas, who by them gave an inestimable value to the phosphoric ores of these countries. That of the United States is due in part to the growth of its population; to the introduction of labour-saving machinery in iron manufacture; to the grand scale on which this manufacture is. carried on; and to the discovery of the cheap and rich ores of the Mesabi region of Lake Superior. But, given all these, the 1000 m. which separate the ore iields of Lake Superior from the cheap coal of. Pennsylvania would have handicapped the American iron industry most seriously but for the remarkable cheapening of transportation which has occurred. As this in turn has been due to the very men who have developed the iron industry, it can hardly be questioned that, on further analysis, this development must in considerable part be referred to racial qualities. The same is true of the German iron development. We may note with interest that the three great iron producers so closely 'related by blood—Great Britain, the United States and Germany and Luxemburg-made in 1907 81 % of the world's pig iron and 8 % of its steel; and that the four great processes by which nearly ali) steel and wrought iron are made-the puddling, Crucible and both the acid and basic varieties of the Bessemer and open-hearth processes, as well as the steam-hammer and grooved rolls for rolling iron and steel-were invented by Britons, though in the case of the open hearth process Great Britain must share with France the credit of the invention.

Tables VI., VII., VIII. and IX. are compiled mainly from figures given in ]. M. Swank's Reports (American Iron and Steel Association). Other authorities are indicated as follows: “, The Mineral. Industry (1892); ", Idem (1899); C, Idem (1907); t, Journal Iron and Steel Institute (1881), 2; 5, Eckel in Mineral Resources of the United States, (published by the United States Geological Survey (1900). 110- 9293- 0

II