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Imagine the unbearable heat, the smell of burning oil, the sound of hot metal being wrought under enormous forces and the spectacle of scalding steam hissing from the rolls. This was an awesome spectacle. 

Rolling rails in the No. 1 Finishing mill.

Ingots from 36 to 68 cwt. were rolled into blooms of varying cross- sections depending on the final product. The blooms then passed through a 12" x 12" shear where they were cut to length and transferred by rope driven skids to the roughing stand of No.1 mill. After 4, 5, or 6 passes through the two-high roughing stand the semi finished stock passed to the 3 high finishing stand. After 4 or 5 finishing passes the rails ran down the runout to either the hot saw or hot shear.

The smaller, steam driven,No.2 mill, equipped with its own reheat furnace rolled a wide range of fishplate bar sections, bearing-plate sections, spring bars, rounds, and other sections. Up until closure of the No2 mill, sections were still manipulated by tongs in the hands of skilled manual operators.

Do you think that would still be acceptable in this, safety conscious day and age?


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