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aided by a number of Philadelphia merchants, but was unable to continue in business, and suspended in 1854. At a meeting of the creditors in Philadelphia soon afterward a committee was appointed, with Daniel J. Morrell as Chairman, to visit the works at Johnstown and recommend the best means, if any, to save themselves from loss. In his report, Mr. Morrell strongly urged the Philadelphia creditors to invest more money and continue the business. They did so, and Matthew Newkirk was made President of the company. The company again failed in 1855, and Mr. Morrell then associated a number of gentlemen with him, and formed the firm of Wood, Morrell & Co., leasing the works for seven years. The year 1856 was one of the great financial depression, and 1857 was worse, and, as a further discouragement, the large furnace was destroyed by fire in June, 1857. In one week, however, the works were in operation again, and a brick building was soon constructed. When the war came, and with it the Morrill tariff of 1861, a broader field was opened up, and in 1862 the present company was formed.
    The years following the close of the war brought about an unprecedented revival in railroad building. In 1864 there were but 33,908 miles of railroad in the United States, while in 1874 there were 72,741 miles, or more than double. There was a great demand for English steel rails, which ad-

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen