Online Encyclopedia

IRONWOOD

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V14, Page 839 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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IRONWOOD, a city of Gogebic county, Michigan, U.S.A., on the Montreal river, in the N.W. part of the upper peninsula. Pop. (1890) 7745; (1900) 9705, of whom 4615 were foreign-born; (1910 census) 12,821. It is served by the Chicago and North-Western and the Wisconsin Central railways. The city is situated about 1500 ft. above sea-level in the Gogebic iron-district, and is principally a mining town; some of the largest iron mines in the United States are within the city limits. Ironwood was settled in 1884, and was chartered as a city in 1889. IRON-WOOD, the name applied to several kinds of timber, the produce of trees from different parts of the tropics, and belonging to very different natural families. Usually the wood is extremely hard, dense and dark-coloured, and sinks in water. Several species of Sideroxylon (Sapotaceae) yield iron-wood, Sideroxylon cinereum or Bojerianum being the bois de fer blanc of Africa and Mauritius, and the name is also given to species of Metrosideros (Myrtaceae) and Diospyros (Ebenaceae). West Indian iron-wood is the produce of Colubrina reclinata (and C. ferruginosa (Rhamnaceae), and of Aegiphila martinicensis Verbenaceae). Ixora (Siderodendron) triflorum (Rubiaceae) is the bois de fer of Martinique, and Zanthoxylum Plerota (Rutaceae) is the iron-wood of Jamaica, while Robinia Ponacoco (Leguminosae) is described as the iron-wood of Guiana. The iron-wood of India and Ceylon is the produce of Mesua ferrea (Guttiferae). The iron-wood tree of Pegu and Arracan is Xylia dolabriformis (Leguminosae), described as the most important timber-tree of Burma after teak, and known as pyingado. The endemic bois de fer of Mauritius, once frequent in the primeval woods, but now becoming very scarce, is Stadtmannia Sideroxylon (Sapindaceae), while Cossignya pinnata is known as the bois de fer de Judas. In Australia species of Acacia, Casuarina, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Myrtus, and other genera are known more or less widely as iron-wood. Tasmanian iron-wood is the produce of Notelaea ligustrina (Oleaceae), and is chiefly used for making ships' blocks. The iron-wood or lever-wood of North America is the timber of the American hop hornbeam, Ostrya virginica (Cupuliferae). In Brazil A puleia ferrea and Caesalpinia ferrea yield a kind of iron-wood, called, however, the Pao ferro or false iron-wood. IRON-WORK, as an ornament in medieval architecture, is chiefly confined to the hinges, &c., of doors and of church chests, &c. Specimens of Norman iron-work are very rare. Early English specimens are numerous and very elaborate. In some instances not only do the hinges become a mass of scroll work, but the surface of the doors is covered by similar ornaments. In both these periods the design evidently partakes of the feeling exhibited in the stone or wood carving. In the Decorated period the scroll work is more graceful, and, like the foliage of the time, more natural. As styles progressed, there was a greater desire that the framing of the doors should be richer, and the ledges were chamfered or raised, then panelled, and at last the doors became a mass of scroll panelling. This, of course, interfered with the design of the hinges, the ornamentation of which gradually became unusual. In almost all styles the smaller and less important doors had merely plain strap-hinges, terminating in a few bent scrolls, and latterly in fleurs-de-lis. Escutcheon and ring handles, and the other furniture, partook more or less of the character of the time. On the continent of Europe the knockers are very elaborate. At all periods doors have been ornamented with nails having projecting heads, sometimes square, sometimes polygonal, and sometimes ornamented with roses. &c. The iron work of windows is generally plain, and the ornament confined to simple fleur-de-lis heads to the stanchions. For the iron-work of screens enclosing tombs and chapels see GRILLE; and generally see METAL-WORK.
End of Article: IRONWOOD
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