|The iron industry of Maryland has played a significant role in the cultural, social, political, and scientific history of the state and of the nation. Although its role today is restricted primarily to manufacture, in the past mining and smelting of ore were important. There are two basic types of ore in Maryland sedimentary and hard-rock. This paper deals only with the sedimentary and primarily those on the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. axis.
The origins of the sedimentary iron ores and the industry that grew up around them in the first three hundred years of Maryland's history are treated. Mining, smelting, and manufacture are described. Additionally, stories of some of the early personalities involved are considered, including George Washington.
In the latter part of the essay, the subject of the discovery of dinosaurs in the sedimentary iron pits is the focus. The dinosaurs' discovery and localities are discussed.
Finally, the dinosaur and geological work going on today in the sedimentary iron ore regions are considered. The future of the iron ore areas is likely to include continued dinosaur hunting but unlikely ever to include additional mining activity.