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Cast Iron

Cast iron was the product of technology and a major agent of industrial, domestic and social change from the eighteenth Century to the twentieth. fewer materials have such a variety of uses and value for money. During the second half of the century, while Britain was proving its superiority in its castings for cannon and ordnance. as well as for industrial machine-castings, especially for cylinders for steam engines, Robert and james Adams were beginning to forge their own impress on the architectural design of the age. their style of Neo-Classicism dictated the forms and motifs of exterior and interior fitments to buildings. Although much of their work was applied in stucco, many of the motifs were equally applicable in decorative cast-ironwork, on balconies, staircases, railings, and lamp-stands and examples of their work can still be found on architectural cast-ironwork today. The durablity and variety of cast iron was outstanding and was used for architectural structures and domestic appliances such as fire surrounds,cast iron ranges, woodburners,fire backs, kitchen utensils many still functional today. Street furniture, street name plates, lamp-posts, direction signs, letterboxes, pillarboxes and architectural cast iron work embellishes buildings, rooms, gardens and streets today, demonstrating  fine tracery decorative designs and construction. Fire backs with simple but effective patterns were among the first domestic item made of cast-iron probably dating fro the mid sixteenth century, produced by impressing shapes in the sand or mould. Before any casting can be achieved a pattern-maker makes a pattern as a whole or in sections allowing for shrinkage, tapers the pattern to faciliate withdrawal from the mould and add precise points to insert cores: hollows in the mould, a precision practice that must be done before any castings can be achieved.