Conference reveals that Scotland not USA pioneered architectural iron


18 June 2013
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imports_CESC_0-mnkfjiuf-100000_11851.jpg Conference reveals that Scotland not USA pioneered architectural iron
Delegates at a conference have been told of a Historic Scotland discovery that it was Scotland, not the USA, which pioneered architectural ironwork. ...
Delegates at a conference have been told of a Historic Scotland discovery that it was Scotland, not the USA, which pioneered architectural ironwork. The conference, titled 'The Architectural Iron Industry in Scotland – A Historical Perspective' took place at Callendar House on 13 June 2013 and was the first conference of its kind on the subject.

Delegates were told that although famed US architect James Bogardus (pictured) is credited with originating cast-iron architecture, he was actually inspired by a visit to Scotland, the homeland of his wife Margaret McClay. Bogardus was proud of his association with iron architecture, and affixed plaques to his buildings which read:

James Bogardus Originator & Patentee of Iron Buildings Pat' May 7, 1850.


Historic Scotland states that research has found that Bogardus 'visited Perth Waterworks during a trip to Scotland and that that trip provided the inspiration for his designs, since the iconic cast-iron building pre-dates any of his work in the US by 15 years.'

Dr David Mitchell, Director of Conservation at Historic Scotland said: 'Scotland is world-famous for its architectural ironwork but the history of the industry is not particularly well appreciated here, so this is a great opportunity to promote the incredible contribution this country made in this field.

'Scotland was the world’s leading manufacturer of pre-fabricated iron structures for a considerable time, and objects and structures are still being traced in India, South Africa, South America and Australia. We continue to discover pioneering Scots in this field and the design and construction of Perth Waterworks ahead of Bogardus in the United States is testament to that.'


Read about Denny's of Dumbarton, a pioneering Clydeside maritime firm, in the April issue of Scottish Memories magazine, available now.

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