Forge Hammer Head

Cast at Saugus Iron Works, 1646-1676

National Park Service, Museum Management Program

National Park Service, Museum Management Program
United States

In the mid-17th century, this 500lb solid iron hammer head would have been mounted on a shaft raised by a water wheel. The enormous force of the hammer dropping on to an anvil would have been used to pound the cast iron "pigs" produced by the blast furnace at Saugus Iron Works into wrough iron bars that could then be sold to blacksmiths or slit into rods to make nails. This three-step process -- a blast furnace to extract the iron from locally dug bog ore, a forge to remove the impurities from the cast iron and create saleable "merchant bar" and finally a rolling and slitting mill to create flat slabs and nail rod -- made Saugus Iron Works the first integrated iron works in North America, and between 1646 and about 1670 it manufactured many tons of iron for use in the colonies and England.


  • Title: Forge Hammer Head
  • Creator: Cast at Saugus Iron Works, 1646-1676
  • Contributor: Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site
  • Park Website: Park Website
  • National Park Service Catalog Number: SAIR 2933
  • Measurements: L 86.98, W 25.4, D 26.03 cm
  • Material: Cast iron

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