Ornate iron staircases gracing middle-class homes
Photo: Scott Omelianuk
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The Ease of Casting

The invention of the blast furnace made it possible for Victorian manufacturers to melt large quantities of iron alloy into a liquid state, so it could be poured into molds and shaped into any imaginable form. As a result, ornate iron staircases were made accessible to middle-class townhouse owners as well as speculative builders and landlords who wanted to give their urban rowhouses an air of distinction at an affordable price.
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