|Dozens of these b&w signs were placed along|
Massachusetts roads in 1930. Many have since
disappeared, though some remain. There's a
great photo collection here and a book about the
project here. This one is preserved in the
museum of the Saugus Iron Works.
From 1646 to 1668, "Hammersmith" (as it was called) produced cast and wrought iron products for the American colonies in a state-of-the-art facility along the Saugus River. When the company disbanded, the site was abandoned and eventually buried by time and the river.
Hammersmith was rescued in 1946 by a grass-roots organization called the First Iron Works Association. With funding from the American Iron and Steel Institute, the Association hired archaeologist Roland Robbins (also known as the man who found Thoreau's cabin at Walden and who excavated Shadwell, the birthplace of Thomas Jefferson) to investigate and reconstruct the site. His work is fascinating; this 15 minute video, worthy of dimming the lights and a bowl of popcorn, shows Robbins in action. You'll be able to compare what he accomplished (at the end of the video) with what's happened to the site since then in the pictures below.