Hematite (Iron Oxide)

Hematite.jpg
Hematite, Source Unknown; N 4410

Hematite gets its name from a Greek word meaning "blood-like." This refers to the red color of the powdered mineral. This mineral is the primary ore from which iron is produced. Most of the iron that is mined in the United States comes from hematite.

Throughout most of the 1800s, charcoal blast furnaces in the "hanging rock iron region" of southeastern Ohio became an important part of making Ohio an industrial state. The furnaces used hematite iron ore from that region in producing industrial iron. During the Civil War these furnaces became major producers of charcoal iron for weapons of the Union armed forces. Hecla Furnace in Lawrence County is reported to have cast the famous cannon, Swamp Angel, which was used in the siege of Charleston Harbor. And tradition has it that Jefferson Furnace in Jackson County produced the iron used to cover the famous Union gunboat, Monitor.

The Ohio History Connection has reconstructed and preserved one these famous furnaces, Buckeye Furnace in Jackson County.

See Also