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Two old blast furnaces sit on the north bank of the Monongahela River seven miles from downtown Pittsburgh. They are relics from Pittsburgh's steelmaking days. Tours are offered by the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area. (Bob Downing/Akron Beacon Journal)
Guides on the Carrie Furnaces tours are often retired steelworkers. Guided and self-guided tours are available at the furnaces that once produced iron for U.S. Steel's Homestead complex. (Bob Downing/Akron Beacon Journal)
Carrnie No. 6 and Carrie No. 7 sit side by side near an iron ore-unloading system. The furnaces were built in 1907. The molten iron was moved via special rail cars to the Homestead complex. (Bob Downing/Akron Beacon Journal)
Artists from 1997-1999 built a metal sculpture of a deer's head that is 45 feet by 35 feet in size. It towers over part of the Carrie Furnaces facility. (Bob Downing/Akron Beacon Journal)
Bins were used to store raw materials to make iron: coke, iron ore and limestone. Four tons of raw materials were needed for every ton of iron produced at the Carrie Furnaces. (Bob Downing/Akron Beacon Journal)
The blower engine houswe at Carrie Furnaces is 220 feet long, 104 feet wide and 84 feet high. It produced air for the blast furnaces. (Bob Downing/Akron Beacon Journal)
Modern society fetishizes technology, worships convenience and strives for technological-driven convenience above most everything. If this year’s coveted Rube Goldberg SmartMachine can be made easier and cheaper by robots in foreign lands, or constructed out of lower-quality materials, then doggone it, the average person or business will happily take the cheaper, easier option, thank you very much.