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Online Catalogue last updated 2nd of November 2021

Furnace, Fire and Forge by Bob McKillop

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LITHGOW, located to the west of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, emerged as Australia's first inland heavy industrial centre following the opening of the railway into the valley in 1879. From tentative beginnings with the first blast furnace in 1874, its iron industry became the main driver of development in the city. With the first steel furnace in 1900 and Australia's first large-scale blast furnace for iron making in 1906, Lithgow laid the foundations of Australia's iron and steel industry.

This book tells the story of the town and its iron and steel industry, both in terms of the plant and associated mines and railways, but also through the eyes of the men who toiled at the works to support their families. In doing so, it provides new perspectives on the foundations of Australia's heavy industry, notably the key role played by Daniel Williams in founding the works, the industrial conflict of the early 1908-1911 period, the role played by the industry in World War I and the construction of Sydney's key landmarks in the 1920s, through to the abandonment of Lithgow as a steel-making centre in favour of Port Kembla.

As former Premier Bob Carr states in his Foreword, "In the best traditions of local history, it is a co-operative effort - built, as Bob McKillop says, on the dedication and skills and thousands of work hours of voluntary effort by the members of his team. This isn't history written from afar; it's written by those with ties to their communities and memories of the men and women who shaped the events of this book."

It is "a story of visionary projects and shattered hopes, enlivened by the work of many brave and colourful individuals."

Code No. 011947, 320 pages, $59.95

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