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Coalbrookdale. Historical artwork of the town of Coalbrookdale, England, in 1843. This was the site of the first factory that smelted iron using coke, opened by Abraham Darby in 1709. This process allowed mass production of useful iron for the first time, and was a significant moment in the industrial revolution. Smelting iron with coke allows good quality iron to be obtained from ores. Darby's process led to iron becoming the dominant material for construction work during the following centuries. The world's first iron bridge was constructed nearby by Darby's grandson, Abraham Darby III, in 1779.
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