The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Sarum Forge — 1739
Site Name: Sarum Forge

Location: Thornbury Township, Delaware County

Dates of Operation: 1739 to 1836 (converted to a paper mill)

Owners: John Taylor

Historical Significance: In 1746, Sarum created Pennsylvania’s first rolling mill. Rolling allowed the works to mass produce iron bars, nails, and other finished goods at higher quality and cheaper prices. These cheaper, but quality goods led to Great Britain passing the Iron Act of 1750, which aimed to stem the production of finished iron products in the colonies. This act was generally ignored by the colonists, and Sarum became an essential manufacturer of high quality iron products. The process of the first rolling mill has evolved into current steelmaking practices.