Iron & Steel Museum of Alabama

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The Iron & Steel Museum of Alabama is a publicly-owned historical museum located within Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. The museum's interpretive exhibits explain the process of making iron in 19th century Alabama, with a focus on the operations of the nearby Tannehill Ironworks. In addition to educational displays, the collection includes numerous physical and historical artifacts of the iron and steel industry. The facility has a gift shop and video theatre and also houses the Walter B. Jones Center for Industrial Archaeology. The 13,000 square foot museum building first opened in 1981 and saw significant renovations to exhibits in 2005. The property also includes a cotton gin house moved from the May Plantation which dates to 1858 and a large shed housing artifacts from Birmingham's steel industry of the 1930s - 1950s.

Notable artifacts

  • 1835 Dotterer Steam Engine used on a rice plantation in South Carolina, similar to one used for blast air at Tannehill
  • Some original parts from the 1863 Six Mile Forge in Bibb County
  • The Steve Phillips collection of Confederate ordnance, mostly manufactured in Selma from Alabama iron.
  • Mining tram car
  • 1850 smut mill used in wheat processing at Tannehill plantation
  • Mid-1800s machine shop with with 1864 Townsend cannon lathe and 1860 Putnam planer
  • 1870 Scott-Gaar & Co. portable steam engine
  • Artifacts from the CSS Alabama
  • Slag pot, ca 1950, from Birmingham's Ensley Works


  • Plott, Bill (December 16, 2008) "New steam engine, blast furnace exhibit open at Tannehill." Birmingham News

External links