What is this?

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What is this?

Postby AZHIKER » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:47 pm

I found this item lying between the rails on an abandoned siding in northern arizona. It is heavy and magnetic, so apparently iron. My guess, admittedly knowing nothing about steam engines, is that it may have come from a firebox???? The crystaline iron "stalagmite" appears to have been connected at the top end and again on the side. The side piece looks like it was once attached to a lightly grooved wall. There is a lot of slag in the area, hence my guess about a relationship to steam power.
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Re: What is this?

Postby Eliphaz » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:27 pm

The striations and woodgrain like appearance identify the material as wrought iron, which makes it rather old- wrought iron had fallen out of use by the 1890s- but suggests little else about the object's original purpose.
Early steam engine boilers were indeed made of wrought iron, but so were a great many other things. It does look like a bit of plate attached to a bit of bar, beyond that your speculation is as good as any.
It's a nice find at any rate, a remnant of the industrial revolution.
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Re: What is this?

Postby AZHIKER » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:07 pm

Thank you Eliphaz! The information that you provided probably seems simple to you but it's a wealth of new knowledge to me. Now I have to know more. My hike for next week will be back to that same area, but this time looking for additional clues. Thanks again.
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