Until doing a bit of research for this blog, I had always figured that when people said “rod” iron, they actually meant “wrought”. I didn’t know there was a difference. (Now, if I’d asked my late husband, he would have told me. He knew these things. I still have much to learn.)
Anyway, here are some quick explanations from a web search, along with links to two good articles.
Cast Iron vs Wrought Iron.
According to an article in MachineDesign.com (by Brad Done, April 01, 2016):
Cast iron is iron that has been melted, poured into a mold, and allowed to cool.
Wrought iron is iron that has been heated and then worked with tools. In fact, the term “wrought” derived from the past participle of the word “worked.”
You can read the full article here:
The photo above is from this article.
Wrought Iron vs Rod Iron.
Rod iron is actually metal cut from an iron bar used to make nails. Wrought iron is the phrase you are looking for when you think of stair railings. The difference is the word ‘wrought’. It means “beaten out or shaped by a hammer”.
This is from an article in Vision Stairways and Millwork, and can be found here:
Wish I had the time to just research this stuff all day… there’s so much knowledge out there!