tv Tredegar Iron Works CSPAN February 20, 2017 12:42pm-12:57pm EST
>> thank you. thank you, everyone. >> there will be an opportunity to sign some books in the -- >> are you related to -- >> thank you, everyone. >> announcer: watch c-span as president donald trump delivers his first address to a joint session of congress. >> this congress is going to be the busiest congress we have had in decades. >> announcer: live tuesday february 28th, at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span and c-span.org and listen life on the free c-span radio app. the james is virginia's largest river. >> it norms in the appalachian mountains, runs through richmond and flows into the chesapeake bay. the river served as a trade route for colonist ins and is sometimes called america's founding river.
continuing our look at richmond we'll visit what remains of tredegar ironworks which was ones located on the banks of the river. tredegar ironworks was an iron foundry that operated in richmond on the bank of the james river from 1837 to 1957. its greatest claim to fame is the chief armorer to the confederacy during the american civil war producing a large majority of the cannons used. during the civil war they had infrastructure that no longer exists from battlefield hospitals to battlefield themselves. the ironworks is one of the few remaining items in the city that existed about the civil war, played a role in the civil war and existed for decades afterwards. tredegar's history dates to 1800 in southeastern wales in the united kingdom. over there there was the tredegar ironworks one of the
main suppliers of iron for the british industrial revolution. when richmond virginians wanted to begin ironworks here in richmond. they contacted tredegar there to design their rolling mills and ironworks here. francis dean, who started tredegar had good information but wasn't a good businessman. the company after it was founded in 1837 was running into financial trouble. they hide a west point graduate and an engineer. and he was brought in initially in 1841 as a purchasing agent, kind of a sales manager but also running a lot of their financial books. within a couple of years he had actually started to lease the entire operation from the stockholders in 1849 he purchased the site yut right and became the sole proprietor of when tredegar started operations richmond was a small industrial town. it had some industry. but as tredegar grew, richmond grew as an industrial hub to the point that by 1860 tredegar was
the third largest ironworks in the united states, the large nest the south, and richmond was the industrial hub of what would become the southern confederacy. initially, actually, the primary work force was a lot of the welchmen who came over and helped design. that was the nucleus of their skilled work force. another side of the work force was also industrial slaves. sometimes the owners of tredegar would purchase slaves in their names. sometimes they would rent slaves from other slave owners and sometimes the tredegar company as a corporate entity would own their own slaves. he had foreigners as well as wels welshmen and irishmen working here along with native born american whites and african-american slaves. the anderson family was in ownership of this site from 1849 up through the civil war when it became a company run by stockholders again.
after anderson died in 1892 his son archer took over. archer died in 1918. his son took over. tredegar stayed in the family as far as anderson goes, but also a lot of the workers. you look through the payroll ledgers or the order books and you see the same names over and over again. this was a generational affair. one family in particular, are a family of german immigrants. and the first -- the patriarch of that family came here in about the early 1850s and his last descendant retired from tredegar in 1953. and that was just one example the families that just stayed here generation after generation. initially, tredegar ironworks was making small iron implements. the railroad industry was just starting in america at the time. they were starting to mike railroad spikes things like that. when joseph reed anded a came on board he diversified n. 1801
owing to his connections with the military having been a west point graduate he talked to the stockholders and talked them into purchasing the equipment needed to produce cannons and they started producing canons for both state governments and the federal government. they also from 1850 to 1855 produced approximately 40 locomotive here. by 1860 tredegar was largest ironworks in southern states, the largest employer in the richmond area and richmond was the industrial hub of the southern states. and that was one of the reasons why the confederate government relocated their capital from montgomery to richmond to be close to the industry that richmond offered at the time. when the civil war actually started, anderson offered the confederate government to buy tredegar from him out right. they refused because they saw
him as a capable manage and it largely switched over to wartime production of cannonry and shot and shell and also the southern railroads needed for their infrastructure to keep the war effort going. tredegar faced several challenges during the civil war to carry on their operations successfully. in one case you had a lot of the skilled workers being drafted in the confederate army which was hurting production. another problem was as the union advanced and enproeched into the territory a lot of the routes that tredegar was able to keep for materials and supplies were quickly dwindling. early on in the war they actually lost a good source of continue and copper in order to make bronze cannons. for most of the war, they were producing cast iron cannons. tredegar's ability to ship its products out was affected by the advances in the union army as far as territory goes. and some parts the canal, they were able to ship supplies and
cannonry down the canal. the southern railroads were a major link to the other southern states. and as the union advanced, blew up parts of the canal, blue up parts of the railroad, infrastructure of the south, tredegar's ability to get weaponry and supplies to other states fighting in the civil war was dwijding and dwindling as time went on. in march of 1865, tredegar essentially ceased operations as far as making cannonry because they had run out of supplies by that point. in april when the union army was advancing and the evacuation fire was raging through the city tredegar was spared any destruction. some windows were blown out when the manufactury of arms exploded by and large, tredegar and its machinery was able to resume operation immediately after the war ended. when the union army came into richmond they occupied tredegar ironworks and joseph reed anderson and his family, his sons and his uncle, a lot of
other family members they were actually working at the site as well and they had to receive pardons from andrew johnson at the time in order to get war and to gain ownership back of tredegar. and in the summer of 1865, they were granted their pardons and tredegar was getting back to them. tredegar was able to pick up operations pretty much right where it left off. they had to repair a lot of equipment, they had to bring in new equipment because during the years of the civil war they weren't able to order more northern advanced equipment so there was some retooling of things, joseph reed anderson able to get northern investors to invest in the operation and tredegar was able to get back into operation very, very quickly. they nevert 1200xdi] cartwheels
south, and a successor company was set up over there which and some steel implements. in 1957, after albemarle purchased the site, theyi] shut down the site but they used some buildings for storage of their paperçó products, onwó of the o tredegar offices were used for research and development forfá their company. and in t(1962, albemarle merged with ' f ethel company of pennsylvania and got out of the paper milling business and more into chemicals and didn't have a site for paper mills hereq anymore. so by mid-60s, this site was largelyt( abandoned. only five buildings remain. you have the lp1861 gun foundry produced during the civil war, to ]2#ate canonry for thexd lp confederacy. the 1668 company store. the tredegar offices, the foundation dates back to 1814 andwqçó they stayed throughout entire --xd the company'sfá existence.es@r(t&háhp & óij%(th
engines of industry in the city. tredegar has a history legacy going from industrial industry to the present.ñr watch c-span as pres!9q donald trump delivers his first address to a joint session of congress. >> this congress is going to é% the busiest congress we had had in decades. >>lp,$ve tuwsfay, february 28th at 9:00 p.m. eastern, on c-span and c-span.org. and listen live on thelp free c-span radioq app. >> you're watching american jistory tv,çó all weekend, ever weekend, onxd c-span3. to join the conversation, like history.ñiçó >> 50 years ago on january 27th, 1967, a flash fire during launch rehearsal of apollo 1 killed astronauts gus grise , roger chaffey and ed jfwhite. they were scheduled for the
ár later on february 21st. up next on american history tv's news special report,fá original time, just a few hours after the 6:30 p.m. w3disaster. an investigation later determined the astronauts died in seconds from asphyxiation and the firjd was electrical and combustible material and the pure oxygen environment inside the cabin. very difficult and that crew escape had not been adequately considered.fá >> this is a cbs news special report. >> thi! is mike wallace at the cbs newsroom in new york.xd america's first three apollo astronauts were trapped and killed by a flash fire that swepté@ their moon