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Rchard Williams

Thanks once again, Ray, a terrific clarification.  Tall induced-draft furnaces in Africa naturally produced a steel, albeit perhaps one not enormously rich in carbon.  With the import of high quality bar iron from Sweden, the Africans had to learn that softer iron was useful for different purpose I guess, just as steel and bar iron coexisted in Europe.

Interestingly, the principal use of ‘lesser quality’ iron (ie higher in phosphorus) in Britain was in nail making, which was a very large part of the European iron market.  I wonder what the Africans used for nails?  Perhaps they did not have such a demand for such things.