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Iron Blast

Montgomery Bell's Tunnel
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Tunnels Era: 1800-1829 DateCreated: 1818 Harpeth River State Park Kingston Springs State: TN Zip: 37082 Country: USA Website: Creator: Bell, Montgomery

Montogomery Bell was a land developer and iron maker who purchased the Harpeth Narrows site to expand his industrial empire - which ultimately consisted of 14 iron blast furnaces throughout middle Tennessee.

The Harpeth River makes a tight bend around a steep limestone ridge, losing 17 feet of elevation in a run of 5 1/2 miles. Bell excavated a tunnel through the limestone ridge, creating a shortcut for the river. The hydropower derived from this drop in elevation was used to drive the Patterson Iron Works built by Bell.

Image Credit: Public Domain (Author's Choice) Image Caption: Montgomery Bell's Tunnel Era_date_from: 1818
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