Be a Successful Ironmaster
To be a good ironmaster, you have to plan ahead. You need to know how much of all the raw ingredients you need to make good charcoal iron. You need to know how much iron you can safely transport to market. You need to know what your expenses might be before you know how much money you will earn from your iron furnace.
These are some of the basic facts every ironmaster in the Juniata Iron area would know:
1 furnace tapping = 2 tons of pig iron
A "pig" weighs 100 pounds.
The average furnace made about 25 tons of iron per week, tapping the furnace twice a day. The furnaces operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Men worked 12-hour shifts, all week.
Colliers, the men who made the charcoal up in the mountains, earned about 2 cents a bushel of charcoal.
Early on, the best way to get your iron to markets in Pittsburgh and even farther was by mule, then to a boat. Mules carried two pigs each; the pigs were bent in a "U" shape and put on the mules' backs.