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Iron and Steel in Different Countries

Aug 17, 2007
The progress in iron and steel gave new ideas of firearms where Samuel Colt the inventor of automatic revolver during the nineteenth century played an important part. The Italians and Germans were foremost in the making and decoration of Armour, allied crafts, ornamented caskets, strong boxes with locks and keys etc., the Japanese were widely appreciated for their swords and daggers. They also made things of iron inlaid with gold and silver in designs illustrating religious and other stories little known in Europe.

With the settlement of America there was a big demand for reliable firearms that could be made cheaply and in quantity. While all guns and pistols had been loaded from the muzzle, a practical breech-loader was invented in America in 1810. Samuel Colt, born at Hartford, played an important part in the development of firearms during the nineteenth century. Connecticut, in 1814. He invented, manufactured and continually improved an automatic revolver, and his name remains linked inseparably with such weapons throughout the world.

The Italians and Germans were foremost in the making and decoration of Armour, and allied crafts were the making of ornamented caskets and strongboxes with locks and keys in elaborate designs. While Continental guns were generally preeminent, with the development of the pistol English firearms were often as good as any others made in the eighteenth century.

Japanese Armour is not greatly appreciated outside its native land, but swords and daggers are collected widely. The Japanese metalworkers were amazingly skilful in tempering and watermarking blades during manufacture, and that of the men making handles and mounts matched their artistry. Many of the mounts (known as Tsuba) are of iron inlaid with gold and silver in designs illustrating religious and other stories little known in Europe. The handle (Kodzuka) of the short dagger is also frequently the subject of similar decoration.

The most popular use of cast-iron was for the fireplace, where its hardwearing qualities gave admirable service: as andirons, on which logs were supported: as fire backs to prevent the heat from damaging the building and to reflect it into the room; and in the form of grates to burn the coal which replaced wood. Much of this equipment for English homes from the fourteenth century onwards was made in Sussex, where ironworks prospered for as long as the forests of the county yielded wood for their furnaces.

In recent years attention has been given to nineteenth-century garden furniture made of iron, and for this purpose it seems admirably suited. The use of iron for furniture had several advocates in the 1830's, and many designs were published for chairs and tables in which it was used for the supports. The iron bedstead was introduced also at about that date, but did not become widely popular until twenty years later. In the words of a Victorian designer: 'where carved work, or much ornament, is to be executed in furniture, cast iron will always be found cheaper than wood. In spite of this, the public was not convinced of its merits and little iron indoor furniture survives. In Germany, in the beginning of the nineteenth century, a method was found of casting very delicate tracery in iron, and jewelry was made from the metal. Surprisingly close imitations of bronzes were made there also from iron.

Here we have seen that each country has their own sets of metals made from these iron and steel. They are unique in their own ways. Like the automatic revolver of America and the swords and Daggers of Japan. Then iron and steel furniture like garden chairs and tables, bedsteads were made as well. Many people were not convinced with the use of iron and steel furniture but it has survived the test pf times in terms of durability.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.kitchen-plans-n-designs.com/ , http://www.mycollectablestips.info/ , http://www.bathroomaccessoriesmadeeasy.info/
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