James Withers Sloss was one of the founders of the city of Birmingham, Alabama. In 1880, he founded the Sloss Furnace Company, where he constructed the city's first blast furnace and contributed to the industrial production of iron in the south. In 1899, when James Sloss sold the company to investors, they rebuilt the furnaces with modern equipment and also constructed brand new boilers .
The site operated until 1969 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the 1980's. The Sloss Furnaces now operate as a museum and are open to the public.