Along the Railroad Reservation--1885


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According to The Birmingham District:


"On a 20 acre site, located between the railroads on the city's western edge and donated by the Elyton Land Company, Hillman and DeBardeleben built Alice Furnace No. 1.  Charged with coal from the Pratt field and iron ore from Graces Gap, the Birmingham District's first furnace went into blast on November 23, 1880.  Named for DeBardeleben's eldest daughter, "Little Alice" produced a high yield of good grade iron at a cost competitive with northern and eastern producers."


"DeBardeleben, together with W. B. Caldwell, Jr., and and Thomas C. Ward of Louisville, established the Birmingham Rolling Mills during 1879, adjacent to the Alice Furnace.  These mills which processed pig iron and later steel into finished products such as bars, rods and sheets, quickly became the City's largest employer with an estimated 900 persons on the payroll by 1888."

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