A Symbol of Birmingham’s Industrial Epoch

  • Jameson A. Pressley University of Montevallo


Vulcan is one of Birmingham, Alabama’s most iconic landmarks. In 1903, several businessmen commissioned Italian sculptor Giuseppe Moretti to bring the city’s likeness to fruition. Vulcan showcased the region’s metallurgical prowess on a global stage, as part of an exhibit at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. Vulcan is more than a statue to the people of Birmingham. Yet, to grasp the full extent of the public’s affection for the structure, one must comprehend the significance of the soil on which he stands. Therefore, my research focused on the profound connection between Vulcan and a community that continually champions to promote and protect its heritage. I began with Birmingham’s founding in 1871, by examining the roles of coal, iron ore, and steel production in creating this metropolis. I studied the evolution of Vulcan, and the contemporary impact this had on Birmingham at the turn of the twentieth century.

Faculty mentor: Dr. James Sanders Day

May 13, 2018