Sunday, January 25, 2009
At the Old Depot Museum:
"Selma was home to three ironworks, or foundries, prior to the Civil War and continuing until recently. Located near the Alabama River, adjacent to River Road, the ironworks used wooden patterns to create the molds from which hundreds of machine and locomotive parts and architectural and decorate designs were made. The process was similar to play with sandbox toys: a wooden pattern was pressed into a special sand, molten metal poured into the impression and allowed to cool and harden. The process was repeated with each of the pieces of the pattern until the mold was complete. These molds were used over and over. A large sifter was used to salvage bits of hardened material from the sand. The metal was then melted and re-used. Because fine hardwoods were used in the patterns, they are decorative as well as a link to the historic past."