Select Page

By the mid-19th century, iron had become an integral part of the American economy, used in ships, railroads, factory machinery, and tall buildings. A major supplier of that material at the time was Robert Poole, a self-taught machinist-engineer whose company in Maryland provided iron for private industry and the U.S. government, most notably for the columns that surround the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building. Poole was also the great-great-grandfather of Steven Swett ’52, who tells the story of his relative and his enterprise, including the workers and the mechanisms they mastered. Read more.