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"just a strange question, any steel works in France or Europe?" Topic


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21 Sep 2020 9:57 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "just a strange question any steel works in france or europ" to "just a strange question, any steel works in France or Europe?"

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Comments or corrections?

Sarge Joe Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2020 9:33 a.m. PST

for sabers and horses shoes just an od one and copper and stuf

Sarge Joe Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2020 9:55 a.m. PST

urban fight?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian21 Sep 2020 9:56 a.m. PST
Sarge Joe Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2020 10:03 a.m. PST

most of them 1840's any rules for napoleonic urban?

Lilian21 Sep 2020 2:15 p.m. PST

The sabers came from the Imperial Factories – Manufactures Impériales d'armes blanches of Versailles, Klingenthal and Turin

Bill N21 Sep 2020 5:25 p.m. PST

I am not sure I understand the question Joe. Are you asking if there were operations in Europe that were capable of and in fact did manufacture steel items? Or are you asking if there were any companies that were engaged in the production of steel on a large scale basis such as developed in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in the aftermath of the ACW? If your question is regarding the latter, I don't know about Europe. If it is the former, steel production goes back a long time. There were blacksmiths turning out steel blades during the Middle Ages.

bsrlee21 Sep 2020 7:36 p.m. PST

Most swords were made from wrought iron and then case hardened at least down to the Crimean War. There were numerous complaints of swords bending or breaking due to the unmounted blades being stored in barrels, rusting and then being ground too deeply to remove pitting by cutlers before assembly which removed the case hardening. Things like horse shoes and gun carriage hardware were wrought iron, common hardware like hinges were cast iron as were cannon balls and grape shot.

At the time of Napoleon iron works (and copper smelters)were small, local affairs which usually served the local market, even large works supplying things like cannon were just multiple small plants grouped together on a site near a river (for power & transport) or a canal.

Murvihill22 Sep 2020 8:11 a.m. PST

I did a quick rout through the wicked podiatrist and it appears large-scale steel production wasn't possible until hot blast furnaces were invented in 1828. The first really big steel mills didn't start until after the Civil War in Pittsburgh. I toured a steel mill in Gary IN in the 70's and everything is absolutely huge.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2020 8:45 a.m. PST

There certainly was steel produced in France during the period.

There were three types of steel produced: Cemented steel, Natural steel, and Cast steel.

The descriptions and methods of production can be found in the American Artillerist's Companion, Volume I, Chapter XVI, pages 172-286. Steel could be produced in the weapons foundries.

'Steel is refined iron, which has absorbed charcoal: the quantity of absorbed charcoal, and the manner in which it is distributed in the iron, constitute the difference between the several kinds of steel'

'There are two processes to make steel. One consists in the manner of refining crude iron; the other in working forged iron, so as to make it absorb charcoal. The result of the first produces natural or forged steel: the second produces cemented steel…'-172-173.

link

Sarge Joe Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2020 10:53 a.m. PST

So for Bill N the question put differently are there steel factories in france? for sabers etc.

Cerdic22 Sep 2020 1:39 p.m. PST

Steel was certainly made in France, but production was on a very small scale. Factory might not be the right word!

Mass production of steel only started in the 1850s with the development of the Bessemer Process.

Bill N23 Sep 2020 7:41 p.m. PST

I think others have addressed your question which seems largely in line with what I was seeing for the U.S. Steel being produced-yes. Steel being produced in large scale operations-no. For French swords of the Napoleonic Wars you might find these interesting:
link
PDF link

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2020 7:10 a.m. PST

Steel was certainly made in France, but production was on a very small scale. Factory might not be the right word! Mass production of steel only started in the 1850s with the development of the Bessemer Process.

Muskets, including the musket barrels, were massed produced during the Revolution and Napoleonic periods.

They were produced and the production overseen by French artillery officers detailed for that duty.

They were produced largely in the arsenals and foundries which were not called factories as far as I can find.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2020 10:01 a.m. PST

The French arsenals, such as Tulle, Charleville, and Klingenthat, used steel to manufacture their longarms and bayonets were produced at Klingenthal.

Useful references include:

-Engineering the Revolution: Arms and Enlightenment in France, 1763-1815 by Ken Alder.

link

-Eighteenth Century Gunfounding by Melvin Jackson and Charles de Beer.

link

-Four Centuries of Liege Gunmaking by Claude Gaier.

link

-French Military Small Arms, Volume I, Flintlock Longarms by Didier Bianchi.

link

-French Military Arms and Armor in America 1503-1783 by Rene Chartrand.

link

Lilian24 Sep 2020 1:47 p.m. PST

map Napoleonic steel industry areas and others armament factories (from the english translation I have of their french official titles manufactures)
link

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2020 2:44 p.m. PST

Manufactures is indeed correct. That French term is used in Engingeering the Revolution by Ken Alder. There are also the arsenals that manufactured weapons.

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