Talk:Backyard furnace

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Garbage article with almost no sources. Backyard furnaces predated Mao by perhaps a century and were largely used for local iron production. There was a brief experimental campaign to produce steel through decentralized means which was abandoned when it proved impractical.

This article reminds me of a Tom Clancy book that talked about this very subject, if I recall correctly. It would be nice if someone could get some sources for it. --Mihoshi 23:33, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

There's also Great sparrow campaign... AnonMoos 10:35, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Useful sourceEdit (talk) 08:14, 18 March 2015 (UTC)


This article is in dire need of more sources. It also is extremely biased. (talk) 17:38, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

It was an objectively mostly a failure because at best the materials it produced had to undergo additional processing steps to become steel useful for industrialization, and at worst the materials it produced were completely useless for making steel, while the diversion of peasant labor from other tasks was generally not cost-effective. AnonMoos (talk) 01:20, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
It was only a failure because capitalists had set the rules. They specifically made it so steel required additional processes to set back Communist nations. It's disgusting how biased this article is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:27, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
I believe Nature sets the "rules" for how steelmaking works: Steelmaking 2620:0:1002:A:2CC4:D1AE:9DCC:E733 (talk) 01:50, 29 January 2022 (UTC)
Like the reply above mine (not sure who it's by), steel making was developed over literally millennia, with each improvement driven by experiments, failures, and occasional successes. Sure, capitalists financed many of the later experiments, but the discoveries were real regardless of who made them or paid for them. The backyard furnace fiasco ignored those discoveries, or was simply unable to reproduce the resultant techniques. Mcswell (talk) 01:48, 30 August 2022 (UTC)

Rewrote a good portion of the stub, searching for good English sourcesEdit

There's a pretty nice study on the history of documentary films in China that had a fair amount of information regarding the media around backyard furnaces. I went ahead and cited it, as it's a strong secondary source, but it only covers the topic here obliquely and largely covers other media matters.

There is now a source on the claim of backyard furnaces damaging agricultural development, but it's a tertiary rambling from some journalist who is not an expert on Chinese history or the subject matter. Something better is needed. This facet of backyard furnaces is likely deserving of far more nuance, as there seems to be far better documentation on the other factors of the Chinese famine. I doubt peasants with a metalworking hobby are to blame, but better sources are needed.

I added the numismatic interest in the topic (mass destruction of Shengbao cash coins) using a blog source. The same blog source was used in the page on the Shengbao iron cash coin and likely has a qualified writer. If there is an issue with it, the reference must be replaced/removed on that page as well.

I'm going to try get more sources on this page one way or another. As-is, it's a pretty bad stub. Mewnst (talk) 05:30, 4 January 2022 (UTC)