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Commemorating our 250th anniversary with inclusive programs that inspire Americans to renew and strengthen our daring experiment in democracy.

Iron, Steel & Industry

Iron, Steel & Industry

Countdown to July 4 2026

Early iron furnaces and forges flourished in the region and were the birthplace of Pennsylvania’s three centuries of industrial prominence. This theme interprets stories of the region’s iron and steel industries, the landscapes and communities they developed, and how they influenced Pennsylvania and the nation.

Chester County’s iron industry developed in the early 18th century and was prominent within the region. Over the decades, the iron industry spread west across Pennsylvania as the Commonwealth developed into a national and internationally known powerhouse in iron, steel, and manufacturing.

Chester County’s iron industry supplied war materials and munitions for the American Revolution and the Civil War. (The theme is closely intertwined with The Philadelphia Campaign.)

Chester County’s industrial beginnings have continued to develop through industrial innovations and technology leadership.

Theme Topics/Storylines
 Colonial Ironworks  Growth of Steel
  •  Why Here? Geology, early technology, early investment
  •  Phoenixville
  •  The Iron Industry Spreads West – Foundation of PA’s industrial base
  •  Coatesville
  •  Pottstown, Coventry, Reading, Warwick, Isabella, Hibernia, Hopewell …
 
   Urban Centers
 
  •  Railroads, manufacturing
 
  •  Peoples – immigrant labor and social life
 
  •  Urban communities

Heritage Site Partners

Want to learn more? Check out the Iron,Steel & Industry Trail Digital Brochure.

Or click here for more information on Iron and Steel Tours.

Explore the Lukens Historic District, a 14-acre area designated as a National Historic Landmark District. Click here for more info.