CHAPTER XX. PUDDLING.
If space would permit, I should Uke to go more fuUy mto the practice of puddUng, commencing with its invention in 1783, and following it all through its successive stages until it reached its cUmax in the year 1890.
While puddUng is generaUy going out of use and has been so greatly overshadowed by the Bessemer process that it is now rather sUghtingly spoken of, yet there are certain purposes for which high-grade iron is stiU used, and wiU continue to be used for some time, notwithstanding the fact that steel can be gotten at less cost.
Having had charge of puddUng furnaces and puddlers for about fifty years and never having had any trouble with either furnace or puddler, I do not propose to see my old puddUng friend, who has been so true and faithful, and once served the country so well, laid away without saying something of his good quaUties and what he has accom¬ pUshed.
Prior to the introduction of puddUng in this country, or rather to the time it was introduced in a number of mills, about 1830, all the wrought iron was made in charcoal fires. It was, consequently, expensive and the quantity small, and as wood was all the time getting scarcer, in a few years the quantity of iron necessary to supply the demands of the country could not be made by that process. Then came the puddUng process to supply the deficiency, which it did, and furnished the country with the iron that was so essential for the wonderful development that took place,