Date of Award

Summer 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Timothy J. Orr

Committee Member

Carolyn J. Lawes

Committee Member

John Weber


The American South contained few iron industries in the decades before the Civil War. Not until the Civil War did southern states produce significant quantities of vital industrial products, such as iron. Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, Virginia, was a rare exception. Under the ownership of Joseph R. Anderson, the company established a national reputation for quality products. Prior to the war, Tredegar did business with northerners and with the Federal government. During the war, Tredegar became one of the main weapons suppliers to the Confederate military. Since this iron company physically and economically survived the war, Anderson regained many of his antebellum contracts. A few new iron industries appeared throughout the South during Reconstruction, but they lacked the capital resources necessary for immediate success – capital that Anderson had less trouble acquiring. Although Tredegar ultimately failed to make the transition to steel, the company represented a route to industrialization not experienced in other southern states, making Tredegar's experience, and thus Richmond's experience, unique from other southern companies and cities.


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