The Woodward Iron Company established the first iron furnace in the Bessemer area, and began operation of its first furnace in 1883. The Company later expanded to include coal and ore mines, quarries, furnaces, and a private railway. In 1966, it was reportedly the largest independent and completely integrated manufacturer of pig iron in the U.S. The facility was demolished in 1974-75. / While its state of preservation in no way rivals the Sloss City Furnaces, the Woodward Furnace Site is perhaps the most significant foundry iron blast furnace plant in the District. As the first company to achieve full vertical integration, Woodward served as the model for other blast furnace operations. Professional trade journals often cited Woodward for its profitability and efficiency. From an engineering point of view, the structural remains of the blast furnace plant contain much information about the construction materials and building techniques. Built at different times, the four furnaces present a continuum in furnace design not available at any other site in the District and perhaps not available in the written record.