By James A. Mulholland
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Additional info for A History of Metals in Colonial America
47 After a careful survey of available sites, Winthrop decided upon a location in Braintree near good ore and with ample timber for charcoal. In early 1644, the building of a furnace was begun, and Winthrop petitioned the General Court for monopoly rights. 48 These were effectively granted for a term of twenty-one years at the session of March 7, 1643-44, with the provision "that within two yeares they make sufficient iron for the use of the country. "49 The words of the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony introduced a new element in the evolution of metal technologies in America.
Later colonial furnaces achieved a maximum height of thirty feet, beyond which the weight of ore would crush the charcoal, blocking the passage of air. 55 The outer walls were of granite or other local stone, but the refractory stone of the inner chamber had to be imported. The identification of domestic stone capable of withstanding the heat of the blast posed a problem for furnace masters throughout much of the colonial period. At its widest point, the bosh, the inner chamber, was six feet in diameter.
When Endecott and a hundred followers sailed for Salem on June 20, 1628, among the items they carried with them as ballast, according to the first entry in the company records, were: "Iron 1 tun, Steele 2 ffagotts, Nayles and Lead 1 ffodder. "37 Meanwhile, in England the dictatorial actions of the new King Charles I and the increasingly harsh policies of his favorite, Archbishop William Laud, against any forms of dissent from the Anglican religion caused growing dissatisfaction among the Puritans.
A History of Metals in Colonial America by James A. Mulholland