The old furnace, Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge Gorge Museum, 13 December 2012. Under the canopy is the furnace where, in 1709, Abraham Darby I experimented with coke (derived from coal) as a fuel for smelting iron rather than charcoal (derived from wood, so in limited and shrinking supply). His success led to the development of the iron industry in Coalbrookdale. It specialised in precision castings, including cylinders for stationary steam engines. Richard Trevithick's 1802 railway locomotive, the world's first, was assembled in Coalbrookdale.
Ironbridge Gorge Museums photos