Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/336

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hundred and twenty dollars; and nails, twelve and a half cents or ninepence per pound. The nail-rods were put up in bundles of fifty-six pounds, and the nailers, who had their little shops around in the country, were expected to bring back fifty pounds of headed and pointed nails, receiving "store-pay" of calico, tea, rum, etc.

From this account it appears that "rum," in quantity proportioned "to the weather," was regarded as a necessary stimulant, to be furnished the workmen to enable them to properly perform their work. This custom, which was in fact universal in New England at the time, seems to have had the sanction of several generations, for the New Haven colonial records tell us that "a proposition made in May, 1662, 'in ye behalfe of Capt. Clarke, that wine and liquors drawn at the iron workes might be custome free,' was allowed to the extent of one butt of wine and one barrel of liquors, and no more."

The act of 1750 was pretty generally enforced in the colonies, and the further erection of rolling and slitting mills prevented. James Hamilton, Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province of Pennsylvania, and William Franklin (son of Benjamin Franklin), who was the royal Governor of the Province of New Jersey (1762 to 1776), were especially zealous in enforcing this act. Hon. Edward D. Halsey, in his History of Morris County, tells us that "a slitting-mill was erected at Old Boonton, on the Rockaway River, about a mile below the present town of Boonton, in defiance of the law, by Samuel Ogden, of Newark. The entrance was from the hill-side, and in the upper room first entered there were stones for grinding grain, the slitting-mill being below and out of sight. It is said that Governor William Franklin visited the place suddenly, having heard a rumor of its existence, but was so hospitably entertained by Mr. Ogden, and the iron-works were so effectually concealed, that the Governor came away saying that he was glad to find that it was a groundless report, as he had always supposed."

From the passage of the act of 1750 to the Revolution the iron industry of America was chiefly confined to the manufacture of pig and bar iron in the furnaces, forges, and mills already erected, and of castings from the blast-furnaces.

Israel Acrelius (who visited America in 1750-1756), in his History of New Sweden, when describing the iron-works of Pennsylvania, says: "The workmen are partly English and partly Irish, with some few Germans, though the work is carried on after the English method. The pig iron is smelted into 'geese' (gäsar), and is cast from five to six feet long and a half foot broad, for convenience of forging, which is in the Walloon style. The pigs are first operated upon by the finers (smelters). Then the chiffery, or hammer-men, take it back again into their hands and