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Middle Ages to 18th Century

1455 Dillenburg Castle in Germany is the first to use cast iron pipe to transport water.

1480 Birth of Vannoccio Biringuccio (1480-1539), the "father of the foundry industry," in Italy. He is the first man to document the foundry process in writing.

1642 Saugus Iron Works, America's first iron foundry (and second industrial plant), is established near Lynn, Massachusetts. The first American iron casting, the Saugus pot, is poured there.

1709 Englishman Abraham Darby creates the first true foundry flask for sand and loam molding.

Rene Antoine de Reaumur develops the first malleable iron, known today as "European Whiteheart."

1730 Abraham Darby is the first to use coke as fuel in his melting furnace in Coalbrookdale, England.

1750 Benjamin Huntsman reinvents the process of cast crucible steel in England. This process is the first in which the steel is completely melted, producing a uniform composition within the melt. Since the metal is completely molten, it also allows for alloy steel production, as the additional elements in the alloy can be added to the crucible during melting. Prior steel production was accomplished by a combination of forging and tempering, and the metal never reached a molten state.

1776 Foundrymen Charles Carroll, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross, Philip Livingston and Stephen Hopkins sign the American Declaration of Independence.

1794 First use of the cupola in iron founding. Invented by John Wilkinson of England, the original had metal-cladding and utilized a steam engine to provide the air blast.