Carrie Furnaces

On Saturday morning I went on a tour of the Carrie Furnace, one of the few remaining remnants of what was once Pittsburgh’s most important industry. I reserved my place on the tour weeks ago. Friday night, with a nasty, cold rain falling, I wasn’t very happy about going. The rain diminished somewhat by the time the tour got going, and I think I appreciated it more because of the bad weather. It kept us grounded in the reality of working there. Our tour guide was a man who had worked there when he was 18, in the 1970s. He was there two years and left to go into the military, as a relief from this job. He said that, although he hated working there, he would not have traded the experience for anything. Now he is dedicated to preserving the site and keeping alive this amazing part of Pittsburgh history. He did such a good job on the tour we really felt what it must have been like to work there, the terrible heat from the furnaces, the constant danger if something went wrong, the extreme cold in winter when you left the furnace area, and the rats. I never thought about rats being in a place like that. So the rain, and the cold, and the puddles of water we walked through made it all very authentic. I am putting up an album of Carrie furnace pictures. For some explanation of what we saw, go to Rivers of Steel.

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