Box of Raw Materials for Pig Iron, 1870s or 1880s
Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life
Object Number

Box of Raw Materials for Pig Iron

Object Category
Iron and Steel
Object Name

This display box contains examples of minerals used in the manufacture of pig iron at Shotts Iron Works, including ironstones mined at different locations. Ironstone was usually calcinated (heated to remove impurities) at the mine before being taken to the ironworks, although calcinating kilns were installed at Shotts in the late 1800s.

We can estimate the date of the box using the names of the mines that the samples came from. Penicuik opened in 1870 while Arden wasn't in full production until 1871 and closed in 1887. Loanhead was the scene of an underground fire in 1887 which was only extinguished by flooding the gas coal workings which put the pit out of production for several months.