Early Bessemer

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In 1887, iron and steel magnate Henry Fairchild DeBardeleben founded Bessemer and named it for English inventor Sir Henry Bessemer. DeBardeleben's dream was to make the city a steel center that would attract companies and people from all over the United States. Bessemer, like nearby Birmingham, is located within a few miles of all raw materials needed to make steel (coal, limestone, and iron ore). DeBardeleben bought 4,040 acres of land and marked off blocks for the town along Alabama Great Southern Railroad lines. With $2 million in starting capital, he built several blast furnaces for his coal and iron company. Within three years, Bessemer was Alabama's eighth largest city. The population grew so rapidly that Bessemer was nicknamed "The Marvel City." The town quickly developed a thriving business district, beautiful neighborhoods, recreations ranging from parks to boating and dances at Westlake, and industries that spread iron, coal, and railcars across the nation.
ISBN: 9780738588032
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Alabama
Series: Images of America
Images: 190
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Author Jason Burnett is a writer, sculptor, and the fourth generation of his family to live in the Bessemer area. The Bessemer Hall of History Museum is located in the beautifully preserved Alabama Great Southern Railroad Passenger Depot. The museum collection features an extensive image archive, early newspapers, clothing, and artifacts illustrating Bessemer's history as a mining, steelmaking, and rail center.
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