The Iron Age

But an even greater period of expansion was ahead. In 1852 there were two major developments: 1--The main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad was completed through the city and the canal was soon outmoded; 2--The Cambria Iron Company was founded. It replaced a number of small iron furnaces in the valley and was the forerunner of Johnstown Plant, Bethlehem Steel Company. Iron Age

A half-century of farming, flatboating and canal transportation had represented the first phase of Johnstown's development; now the second phase was underway, with the iron industry, the railroad and, later, the coal industry providing the impetus.

With its basic industrial operations and good rail connections east and west, Johnstown was rapidly transformed from a small canal village into one of the most remarkable manufacturing centers in the world.

Contributing to the early advances of the iron and steel business was the abundance of natural resources. Readily available nearby were coal, iron ore, limestone, fire clay and an abundant water supply.


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