The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Phoenixville Steel Corporation — 1790
Site Name: French Creek Nail Works, Phoenix Iron Works, Phoenix Iron Company, Phoenix Iron & Steel Company, Phoenix Steel Corporation

Location: Phoenixville, Chester County

Dates of Operation: 1790 to 1976

Owners: Benjamin Longstreth; Lewis Wernwag; Reeves and Whitaker Brothers; Reeves, Buck & Company; Phoenix Iron Company; Phoenix Steel Corporation

Historical Significance: French Creek Nail Works was the first nail factory in the U.S. In the 1860s, Phoenix Iron Company manufactured two important products: the Griffen Gun, which helped lead to Northern victory in the Civil War, and Phoenix Columns, structural steel that can still be found in historic bridges and buildings today. In 1910, the company had the largest open hearth furnace in the world, with a 150 ton capacity.