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Bethlehem Steel (Bethlehem, PA) | Blowing Tubs

Bethlehem Steel (Bethlehem, PA) | Blowing Tubs - Bethlehem Steel
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This image shows the blowing tubs of the gas blowing engines. These components are basically giant bellows. These are the parts that put the "blast" of air into the blast furnaces. The largest cylinders housed pistons up to seven feet in diameter that moved back and forth five feet every second. Air was blown at 30 pounds per square inc, which is roughly equal to the pressure of two atmospheres. The smaller cylinders are air receivers. From the receivers, the air was directed to a manifold and then into a blast furnace. The manifold valves were arranged so any engine could blow any furnace. Each single engine produced 13,000 to 18,000 cubic feet of air per minute. The flywheels pictured are 24 feet in diameter and weigh 100 tons each. The newer engines, not pictured, have flywheels that are 28.5 feet in diameter and weigh 115 tons.

- information provided by the National Museum of Industrial History

Photograph taken in 2009 at the abandoned Bethlehem Steel complex in Bethlehem PA by Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America. The Bethlehem Steel site has since been incorporated into the Steel Stacks and Sands Casino.

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