About this project

The Hay Creek facility was a trip hammer forge erected in 1740 in Birdsboro, Berks County, Pennsylvania. This region was ideally suited for the production of iron because of the numerous streams providing water power, large tracts of hardwood forests needed to produce charcoal, and abundant deposits of iron ore.


What we did

BRH worked closely with the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission curators to identify the original machinery components of the trip hammer, parts that had been reproduced, and parts that were missing. It had been dismantled and remained in storage for many years.

A thorough vacuuming and cleaning of the components was performed using both aqueous and solvent based cleaning systems. Nearly all of the wooden elements required consolidation of areas that had been in direct contact with the dirt floor.

All of the original elements of the trip hammer were used in its reassembly, and the missing elements were recreated by matching all of the original specifications including dimensions, grain, and species.

 The iron was chemically and mechanically stabilized and hot waxed prior to reassembly. Where iron components were missing, reproductions were cast and fit.  Upon completion, the trip hammer was installed in the Orientation Exhibit of Cornwall Iron Furnace, located in Cornwall, Pennsylvania for display purposes.