Oxford Furnace

Also known as: Oxford Furnace #1
Belvidere and Washington Aves., Oxford, New Jersey

This charcoal-fired iron furnace was the first to use "hot blast" in America; 1835.


Historic American Buildings Survey, Copy of an old print

Photo taken for the Historic American Buildings Survey



Several important iron technology innovations were developed at Oxford. In 1835 a heated air blast (hot blast) was first used with success, resulting in savings of fuel and better iron quality. At some earlier time (perhaps as early as 1743) the stone tower to the east of the furnace stack was built, in an experiment using a "water blast." This water blast building is the only known one of its kind. In September, 1842, anthracite coal was mixed with the charcoal fuel successfully. In 1884 the furnace was blown out for the last time, apparently due to a failure of the inner wall above the north tuyere arch. An unusual feature of the stack is the small entranceway to the right of the south arch, providing access to the back of the furnace.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 6, 1977
Reference number
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Manufacturing facility
Current function
Periods of significance
1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1825-1849
Number of properties
Contributing structures: 1
Contributing sites: 1

Update Log 

  • June 29, 2015: Updated by Chester Gehman: Added photos
  • June 29, 2015: Updated by Chester Gehman: Added overview, description.
  • July 7, 2012: Imported photos from HABS/HAER