Iron Bowl and American Hookah – Update Alaba

Maury D. Gaston, Chairman, Alabama Iron & Steel Council

It will be 87 on SaturdayThursday playing the Auburn vs. Alabama. The stakes may not be as high this year, but there will be no shortage of passion for either team. This is the 51st anniversary of my first Iron Bowl, and I’ve attended more than half the games in three different locations during that span.

Why is it called the Iron Bowl, who named it so and why?

In 1964, Auburn coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan said that “an Iron Bowl against Alabama would be Auburn’s bowl game,” and the moniker has stuck ever since. But why?

First, it was played at Birmingham’s Legion Field, the “Football Capital of the South” at the time, until Auburn moved its alternate home game to the campus in 1989, and Alabama later followed suit; and secondly, Birmingham is well known for its iron and steel industry. In fact, soon after the War Between the States, the Magic City grew like a charm from the iron ore, coal, and limestone deposits in the area, resulting in the rapid rise of a massive iron and steel industry.

All three manufacturers of ductile iron pipe, the primary material for our nation’s public water systems, have operations in Birmingham. Other iron and steel producers operate in the region and across the state, producing various applications of iron and steel to build our infrastructure, automobiles and consumer durables. Birmingham may no longer be the football capital of the south, but it sure is the iron and steel capital of the south, .

The primary reason the Iron Bowl is so aptly named is that it’s a tough game played by tough men who fight doggedly and resiliently for their teams and universities, and their fans care perhaps even more. Strong, striking, durable, durable. All describe both the Iron Bowl players and the performance of iron and steel pipe products.

What is not as well known is that today’s modern ductile iron pipes are made from recycled iron and steel, require less energy to pump water, have a long and reliable life and are recyclable when they are retired. Iron pipes are good for the environment, good for public health and fire protection, and good for the long-term financial strength of the water company. More than a century of services have been proven to be safe and effective for public health. Many seemingly miraculous materials such as lead and asbestos have come and gone from the industry, yet iron and steel continue to work and serve safely decade after decade.

So when you tune into Saturday’s Iron Bowl on CBS at 2:30 Central, you can be the smartest person in the room and talk about the origins of the name as well as the attributes of the ductile iron pipe from Birmingham, Alabama. Iron pipe. This is what America is built on.


Maury D. Gaston is chairman of the Alabama Iron and Steel Council (AISC), ManufactureAlabama’s board; A 40-year veteran of AMERICAN Ducktile Iron Pipe in Birmingham; and a mechanical engineering graduate from Auburn University. AISC serves as the independent industry council of ManufactureAlabama, the only state trade association dedicated exclusively to manufacturers and their suppliers/partners. AISC member companies include AM/NS Calvert, AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company, CMC Steel, McWane, Inc., Nucor Steel, Outokumpu Stainless USA, SSAB Americas, US Pipe & Foundry, United States Steel, Alabama Power Company, Spire/Alagasco , Colburn Construction, Inc., ERP compliant coke, OMI-Bisco Refractories, O’Neal Manufacturing Services, Reno Refractories, Southeast Gas and Southern Alloy Corporation.


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