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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CUYAHOGA STEAM FURNACE CO.

CUYAHOGA STEAM FURNACE CO.

The CUYAHOGA STEAM FURNACE CO. was the first iron manufacturer in the Cleveland area. Chas. Hoyt started the company in the Cuyahoga Valley in 1827 at Center and Detroit Sts. in Brooklyn Twp. It was the first shop to utilize steam power in the region. On 3 Mar. 1834, it became Cleveland's first incorporated manufacturing plant. Soon afterward a fire swept the shop, and a larger plant was erected, producing over 500 tons of castings annually and employing up to 100 workers. Cuyahoga Steam Furnace grew by adapting to the region's changing needs for metal forms. Originally, it produced mill gearings; with the increase in lake traffic, Cuyahoga moved by 1843 into the marine engine field. By 1849 the firm had no debts and had become the state's largest producer of steam engines. It then ventured into locomotive construction, building the first locomotive west of the Alleghenies in 1849. With a growing locomotive business, the company erected a substantial plant near the old shop in 1853. By 1857 the plant had produced 100 locomotives, with $60,000 in annual sales. Due to the Panic of 1857, it decided to close its locomotive works and return to safer, more profitable lines of work at its Detroit St. plant. During the Civil War it was a large supplier of railroad iron to the Union forces. Cuyahoga maintained its business for the next 20 years, until it was purchased by the Cleveland Shipbuilding Co., the forerunner of the AMERICAN SHIP BUILDING CO., in 1887.


Cuyahoga Steam Furnace Co. Records, WRHS.