The First Iron Pot Cast in Colonial America

I know everyone has been stressing over this question, “Where was the first iron pot cast in the New World”? It turns out that the first pot cast in America was in 1646 in Massachusetts.  The furnace where it was cast was the Saugus Iron Works. This has been verified through records on file with the Massachusetts Historical Society from the official records of John Winthrop, first Governor of MA. It was through his efforts and resources that the first blast furnace was constructed in Saugus, MA in 1646. Records show that the first cast was an open pot. Notice that I did not say Dutch oven as we know them today. The Saugus Iron Works is recognized as the first furnace in the “New World”.

Now the really good news. That pot exists and can be seen at the Lynn, MA Public Library. It was excavated during the archaeological dig in the 1950’s that resulted in the restoration of the Saugus Iron Works. To corroborate the find, scientists performed carbon dating on the pot which confirmed the 1646 records.

And, here it is:

Saugus Pot


The First Iron Pot Cast in Colonial America — 5 Comments

  1. I love history, and I really enjoyed learning about this. I shared it with others and began some good conversations about our amazing black pots.


  2. Outstanding! Glad you enjoyed and shared the post. We have such a rich history here in the Northeast in both the production of cast iron and cooking methods and recipes in the colonial era.

    Stay tuned. I’ll post more as I learn more.

  3. I may be misinformed, but my understanding that the first iron works blast furnace was in Quincy MA., not Saugus, MA.

    • Great observation! I guess this is where we get into the area of historical interpretive accuracy. I suppose I should have used the phrase, “. . .first successful, integrated iron works in the New World”. From what I understand, the Quincy furnace had a problem with the availability of iron ore and it was not economically feasible to support the operation and it was closed down in 1647. So, technically, yes, you are correct but it never became a viable iron works.

      Thanks for keeping me honest and making me do my homework..

      • I never expected a response, never mind as quickly as you responded. Thanks for the explanation. Bob Perchard

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