Fort Pitt Foundry

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Fort Pitt Foundry
Company typePrivate
HeadquartersPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Key people
Joseph and Alex McClurg
ProductsCannons and cannonballs for the U.S. military

The Fort Pitt Foundry was a nineteenth-century iron foundry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was originally established at Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street in 1804 by Joseph McClurg, grandfather of Joseph W. McClurg, and his son Alex McClurg, father of bookseller and general Alexander C. McClurg. It was later moved to the area of Pittsburgh now known as the Strip District at 12th and Etna. It was an early producer of ordnance for the United States, and manufactured cannonballs for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's forces in the War of 1812. It was best known for the manufacture of large cannon.[1] One of the largest was a 20 inch bore Rodman Gun, a large black powder, smoothbore, muzzle-loading coastal defense gun.[2][3]

The foundry was closed after the Civil War ended.[4] It was eventually sold to a rival in 1878.[5]


  1. ^ "A Great Cannon Foundry". Scientific American (September 10): 165. 1864.
  2. ^ Donald B. Webster, Jr. (July–August 1962). "Rodman's Great Guns". Ordnance: The Journal of the Army Ordnance Association (July–August). Archived from the original on 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
  3. ^ "A Twenty-Inch Gun; Casting at the Fort Pitt Foundry" (PDF). The New York Times (Feb. 21). 1864. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  4. ^ Simpson, Edward; Simpson, Edward (1885). Report of the Gun Foundry Board, February 16, 1884. United States. Gun Foundry Board. Govt. Print. Off. p. 39. OCLC 5228492. Dahlgren Fort Pitt Foundry.
  5. ^ Carl Prine (July 13, 2008). "Fort Pitt foundry known for 'monster' weapons". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.[permanent dead link]