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The New Student's Reference Work/Birmingham (Alabama)

Birmingham (bĕr′mĭng-ŭm), a city in Alabama, founded in 1871 and called the Magic City of the South. It is situated in Jones Valley, from which rises Red Mountain, and is the capital of Jefferson County. It is close to almost inexhaustible supplies of iron ore, coal, limestone and oil, and promises to rival Birmingham, England, and to become the greatest metal-workers' city in America. It has large rolling mills, which manufacture rail and bar iron, plate and sheet iron, steel and rail mills, and by-product plants, factories for making ice, glass, bridges, chains, steel cars, etc. Twenty-five furnaces in or near the city are now engaged in making iron. One company employs 3,500 men and has a capital of nearly $4,000,000. The red ores, found in enormous quantities in the region, make an excellent quality of steel, and the annual output is now very considerable, giving employment to many thousand hands. Seven railroads center here and fine buildings are going up. Krupp, the iron king of Germany, is reported to have said that “if fate should drive him from Germany, he would go to Birmingham, Alabama.” The city has fine schools and churches, including among its public buildings a handsome courthouse, a $200,000 high school building and many other fine civic institutions. Near by, at East Lake, is Howard College, a Baptist institution, and three miles west of the city is Birmingham College, the Methodist institution of the state. Electric trains give access to the city's growing suburbs, which have a combined population greater than the city; it also has an excellent system of water-works. The population (1910) is 132,685, while in 1880 it was only a little over 3,800.