“Iron” plows in North Carolina are steel: Nowhere else in the US
In North Carolina, welding stainless steel is the norm.
In fact, there are more welders than welders anywhere in the country.
But despite the fact that welding stainless is the go-to material for ironworkers, the industry’s largest employer is not allowed to make steel.
The state’s Department of Agriculture is in the process of banning the use of iron in the industry, which has been around since the 1920s.
“It’s an industry that’s been around for over 200 years,” says Kim Johnson, an environmental scientist with the North Carolina Department of Forestry and Environmental Services.
“So, when you look at a lot of our history, the reason it’s still here is because people have been willing to do things with iron.”
It was this willingness to reuse iron that made North Carolina’s economy so strong.
“It was a major economic driver,” says Johnson.
“And that’s why we’re doing this study.”
The iron industry employs about 4,000 people in North America, according to the US Census Bureau, and that number is expected to grow to 7,000 in the next few years.
But with the ban, the metal is expected go the way of all steel.
Iron is still used to make all types of goods, and it has become increasingly important as a tool of industry.
That is, until this past month.
“I think it’s an unfortunate trend,” says Tom Miller, an executive director with the National Iron and Steel Association.
“We’re seeing a lot more rust, a lot less steel, and a lot fewer jobs.”
Miller says the state has been using the steel in its production processes for more than a century.
But he says it is not used to weld.
“They’re welders, they’re not welders,” Miller says.
“What we’re seeing is that we’re using steel for the wrong purpose.
And we’re taking away the tool that made that tool possible.”
It all started in 1929.
North Carolina became the first state to ban iron in a new national program.
The law, passed in the wake of the Great Depression, called for an iron mill in the state.
It was hoped that the new mill would increase North Carolina exports and help the state become a regional hub.
But as the iron industry continued to boom, the state’s economy began to shrink.
“By the 1950s, the population was about half what it was before the ban,” says Miller.
“People were losing jobs.
And the iron mill just didn’t have the workforce to go around and find more workers.”
In 1954, North Carolina went into bankruptcy.
The government had run out of money, so it closed the mill.
The next year, it decided to reopen the mill, but this time with the goal of finding a new workforce.
North Carolinians didn’t want to be part of a mill that would be closed.
So in the 1950.
they built their own mill.
But after a few years of looking, the new iron mill failed.
The steel was too thin.
“There was no steel, no steel to be made,” says the director of the North Carolinian Iron and Ironmaking Institute.
“The steel was just so thin that it didn’t melt, and the water was just too cold to work with.”
That lack of corrosion, and even the steel itself, was the problem.
The plant’s furnace wasn’t working properly.
So the owner, a local steelmaker named John Stapleton, bought the mill and rebuilt it.
He hired a mechanic to repair the furnace.
But the owner didn’t like that, so he decided to keep the mill running and shut it down.
“At some point, that owner decided he didn’t need the mill,” says Stapletons owner, Richard Schoen, who worked at the mill for 20 years.
“He was happy to have his old iron company running the mill.”
It wasn’t until the 1960s that the owner finally got around to closing the mill down, but he never got around and began to sell off the land around it.
The owner died in 1984, but the mill stayed in operation until the 1990s.
Then in the mid-1990s, a company named Cone Mills bought the old mill and put it into operation again.
The company has since sold the mill to a group of local businessmen.
“We have a lot invested in the steel mills and that was the main reason we chose this site,” says Richard Schoepp, owner of the mill’s maintenance and restoration division.
“When we purchased the mill it was just a steel mill.
Now we have a mill where we can produce steel products.
And that’s where we want to go.”
Now, as the mill continues to operate, it has been able to keep its operations running for a while.
It is able to continue making steel.
“But it’s not a regular mill,” Schoeppe says. It uses a