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Photography Trip to Cornwall Iron Furnace Museum- April 2, 2017

LVPC Photography Trip to Cornwall Iron Furnace Museum

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Photo Shoot: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm in the Furnace Building

  • Cost: approximately $7.00 entry fee depending on the number attending
  • Capacity 15-30 LVPC members (Only current LVPC members can attend)

Cornwall Iron Furnace Museum  –  Website:

94 Rexmont Road
Cornwall, PA 17016
United States of America

Invitation to LVPC members:

We hope that you will take this opportunity to visit and photograph a colonial and early American charcoal fired iron furnace in Cornwall, PA with fellow LVPC photographers. This furnace ran from 1742-1883 near one of the richest iron ore deposits in colonial America. The Cornwall Furnace was built in Gothic style stone building and remained in operation until newer furnace operations fueled by anthracite coal made it obsolete. The furnace was then closed, and locked up by the owner’s family, leaving the building virtually untouched until it was given to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by the family in 1932. The furnace is extremely well preserved and is like walking back into a 19th century industrial operation. Robert Vogel of the Smithsonian Institution described Cornwall Furnace as: “With the exception of a mere handful of similar preservations in Sweden and Germany — I doubt that elsewhere in the world is there a 19th century iron furnace complex with the degree of historical integrity to be found at Cornwall…”

Their website’s description: “Cornwall Iron Furnace is an extraordinary example of the furnaces that dotted the Pennsylvania countryside in the 18th and 19th centuries. Around it developed villages, artisans’ shops, stores, schools, churches, and the home of a wealthy ironmaster. All of the raw materials necessary for the smelting process — iron ore, limestone and wood for charcoal — were found in this self-contained iron plantation. Cornwall Iron Furnace, the only surviving intact charcoal cold blast furnace in the Western Hemisphere, attests to the once great iron industry that flourished in south central Pennsylvania.”

The LVPC photographers will have the opportunity to enter the furnace building (11:00 am – 12:30 pm) an hour and a half before for the usual visitor tours, giving us the time and independence to photograph the various rooms in this remarkable facility. The building is dimly lit by electric lights styled to the 19th century period and natural window light. Photographers should bring tripods and shutter releases for longer exposure shots and they can use HDR techniques in their camera work and post processing. Wide angle as well as standard lens should be useful in photographing the interior. The furnace includes rooms where the iron, limestone and charcoal were mixed and fed into the furnace, a waterwheel & steam engine room for the air pumps feeding air into the furnace, storage rooms for industrial operation ingredients and the furnace room where cannons, stoves, and pig iron were cast. During our visit a guide will describe the facility, its operations and history.

After photographing the furnace, we’ll tour the museum to see exhibits regarding iron furnace, its operations and a historic early American iron forge. We can also photograph other historic structures and buildings in or near the furnace complex.

For those interested, there will be an opportunity to join fellow LVPC members for a lunch in a local restaurant.


The drive to Cornwall, PA from the Lehigh Valley should take about an hour and a half, approximately 75 miles, one way. It’s about 5 miles due south of Lebanon PA

Directions to Cornwall Iron Furnace from the Lehigh Valley:

  • Take US-22 west to I-78 west
  • Take I-78 west to PA-501 south in Bethel. Take exit 13 from I-78 west
  • Follow PA-501 south and PA-419 south to Rexmont Rd in Cornwall, PA
    • Cornwall Iron Furnace
      • 94 Rexmont Rd, Cornwall, PA 17016
      • Lat: 40°16’14.36″N, Long: 76°24’27.89″W

LVPC Car Pooling:

For those interested in carpooling, we are tentatively meeting at the Commuter Bus Parking at Route-33 and William Penn Highway and leaving no later than 9:00 am on Sunday, April 2, 2017. We will need some members, who are willing, to drive as a part of the pool and we’ll try to identify those members as we organize the trip. Those in the car pool will return to this same lot to pick up their cars.

Signing Up:

If you would like to join us on this trip, email Bob Becker at Provide the names, email addresses and phone numbers you and those who plan to join you. Also indicate whether you are interested in carpooling or intend to drive on your own. This trip is on a first come, first serve basis. So please reserve your place for the trip as soon as possible. Reservations can only be secured for current LVPC members, so if you want attend but haven’t joined or paid this years dues, please do so first at:

Trip Agreement:

The Cornwall Iron Furnace Museum and Facilities are well designed, maintained and managed by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for families and adults. There are though, as with any trip, risks which participants must recognize and for which they accept responsibility. There are for example stairs within the iron furnace facility, and travelling to and from the location will also have recognized, associated risks. Those attending the trip must sign an Acknowledgement of Risk, Release of Liability and Hold Harmless Agreement. A copy of the agreement will be sent to those who sign up for the trip for their review and execution.

We hope to see you there!

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