Belgium was one of the first countries on the continent,
where iron and steel was produced in large industrial style.
The foundation was laid by the Englishman William Cockerill,
who erected textile mills with modern machinery in Verviers
and machine factories in Liège.
3.2.1. Usines Gustave Boel, La Louvière
The images of this impressive iron works were taken
a few months after it's last blast furnace went out of service.
At least the hot rolling mill is still in operation.
Many thanks to the very friendly people at UGB, who
gave me permission to photograph the wonderful industrial
installation. I took the images on a sweltering day,
and I remember well the exhausting ascent to the top of
furnace No 6.
3.2.2. Cockerill Sambre, Charleroi
Charleroi used to be a center of steel production.
The coal from the mines nearby fed a large number
of blast furnaces. Only two of them remain until today,
one of them already shut down.
3.2.3. Forges de Clabecq
The 'Forges de Clabecq' is a relatively small steel mill,
which does not belong to any of the huge steel empires.
You can watch the fluid iron ejected from the blast furnace