The homestead works eventually grew to be one of the largest steel plants in the world. Having grown up in a steel mill town about 25 miles northeast of pittsburgh, and playing football in high school and in college in the 1970s, i was expecting more. For recent history, see history of the steel industry 1970present. Today, there are no steel mills within the city limits of pittsburgh, although manufacture continues at regional mills, such as the edgar thomson works in nearby braddock. These materials include correspondence, letter books, financial materials. The history of steel production steel mill shadow topic. The history of the modern steel industry began in the late 1850s. The pennsylvania steel company is a name of two pennsylvania steel companies. Pittsburgh is more than a city, declared herbert casson in his popular history the romance of steel 1907. The steel mill was like the father figure, says ellie wymard, the author of 2007s talking steel towns. It was the acme of activity, an industrial cyclone, a region of sweat and gold, a singular. Twenty years later, the primary iron and steel industry in cleveland employed almost 3,000 about 200 of these children and youths in 10 establishments. History of the steel industry 18501970 for the history of earlier processes, see history of ferrous metallurgy. The shoenberger plant of the american steel and wire company was a union mill down to 1892 and a number of the smaller steel mills dealt with the union for a half dozen years longer.
This book is the story of 3 generations of immigrants from slovakia, who ended up working in the steel mills of pennsylvania. Families arrived from other parts of the eastern united states, italy, germany, russia, poland, czechoslovakia. As the mills expanded, spanning from homestead into the surrounding towns of munhall and west homestead, so did the population. This homestead, the famous industrial center that would enter the history books, was born in 1879 with construction of the famous steel mill, which opened in march 1881. Nlmk group, an international steel producer with operations in russia, europe and the usa, has signed an agreement for the purchase of the core process equipment for the construction of a new walkingbeam reheating furnace to streamline the slab heating process at nlmk pennsylvania farrell, pa, usa. The history of the early settlements and indian massacres, is so completed merged with the history of berks, that little of interest, separately considered, remains to be noticed. Its written in novel form, but its basically the biography of the authors family. His life story embodied horatio algers bestselling books about poor boys who made. See more ideas about pittsburgh, old photos and pittsburgh pa. Only two steel mills in the world had the continuous operation of raw material to steel, all within one mill. By the 1880s, carnegie steel was the worlds largest manufacturer of iron, steel rails, and coke. The edgar thomson steel works, by william rau, braddock, pa, 1891. Over the years it developed into a leader in the production of stainless and specialty steels, is one of the few steel mills in operations in the pittsburgh area, is still growing, and is the townships largest employer.
Pittsburgh steel mills the brookline history homepage. History of the iron and steel industry in the united. Discover delightful childrens books with prime book box, a subscription that. Smog meant that the mills were running and the coke ovens burning. These vintage steel photos from pittsburgh will give you a peak at our citys rich history. Steel s plants, in expanding the welfare activities beyond skilled white workers. For a century it made its mill owners fortunes and armed america through two world wars. The day that destroyed the working class and sowed the. I learned so much about the homestead strike and about carnegies complex personality. Dec, 2017 this is a collection of old photos and pics i could find of pittsburgh, pa and the surrounding era and how the people used to live. Carnegie to manage business at his steel mills in the pittsburgh, pennsylvania area in the late 19th century.
The subsequent sale made carnegie one of the richest men in history. The union iron mills, lucy furnaces, the edgar thomson steel works, and several coke. Images were selected that visually document steel mill facilities and the workers that. Armco steel and the armco spirit butler county historical.
Higher education edit pittsburgh is home to three universities that are included in most undergraduate and graduate school national rankings, the university of pittsburgh, carnegie mellon university and duquesne university. Most people recognize one thing about pittsburghs history, that it was known as an industrial hub for coal mining and steel production. The intense heat of the steel mills and the clatter of coalfilled locomotives once filled the streets of scranton, pennsylvania. The story of pittsburghs iron and steel industry, 1852. Carnegie steel company was a steelproducing company primarily created by andrew carnegie and several close associates, to manage businesses at steel mills in the pittsburgh, pennsylvania area in. Pittsburgh, pennsylvania contributor names rothstein, arthur, 19151985, photographer created published. However, in the 1970s, cheap foreign steel flooded the market. A pennsylvania steel worker for 41 years, he toiled for 12 or more hours a day behind the locked doors of a steel mill with no days off and little.
Pittsburgh earned and has held onto the nickname steel city for good reason. A veteran reporter of american labor analyzes the spectacular and tragic collapse of the steel industry in the 1980s. In addition to housing books, chosen by the mill manager, the library building also contained a gymnasium, swimming pool, bowling alley, auditorium, and meeting rooms, also allocated by mill managers. Everything you need to know about pittsburgh and then some. In blast furnaces, aside from the irish foreman, there are seldom any but slavs or hungarians employed, john. The history of the lukens steel company dates back to 1810 when issac pennock established the brandywine iron works and nail factory in coatesville along the banks of the brandywine river. Some of the earliest artifacts of human settlement are found at the meadowcroft rockshelter located about an hour west of the city and date back 16,000 years fast forwarding to western settlements, we jump to the 1700s when european colonists came into the region. Route 30 made the site ideal for iron production and transportation. Guide to the records of the carnegie steel company, 18531912. A portrait of a pittsburgh neighborhood puts the story back in history.
After its acquisition by william penn it was at peace with the red man for a period of seventy years, followed by thirty years of cruel barbarism. Steel is a masterful telling of what made pittsburgh the industrial powerhouse it becamefrom the days of iron to the age of steel, from the mud streets to the mammoth mills. Africanamerican worker in a steel mill, coatesville, pa, circa 1920. Engineer john tytus perfected it in middleton in 1923 while engineers at columbia steel in butler received patents in 1925. Armco enjoyed a niche in the vibrant steel industry in southwest pennsylvania. Large integrated steel mills were built in chicago, detroit, gary, cleveland, and buffalo, to handle the lake superior ore.
The history of pittsburgh, pennsylvania visit pittsburgh. Women kept their homes running and their family life going, even with their husbands gone for. While the iron industry that developed in colonial pennsylvania featured modestscale mills, such as the alliance furnace which depended on highly skilled workers, the highvolume steel industry developing in the 1870s relied more on complex machines than. The story of pittsburghs iron and steel industry, 1852 1902 by. In blast furnaces, aside from the irish foreman, there are seldom any but slavs or hungarians employed, john fitch observed of pittsburgh around 1910. Mckeesport was incorporated as a borough in 1842, and the citys first steel mill was established in 1851. A brief history of scranton, pennsylvania by cheryl a. New arrivals often followed friends or kin through the mill gate and even into the same mill department. The original company was located in steelton, pennsylvania, and its steel. Lockdown brings steel and allied industries in west bangal to a grinding halt. Perelman makes it all come alive through voices of the scotsirishwelsh entrepreneurs and the lowly hungarians, poles, czechs, and all the others who mixed their sweat. According to vivek adukia, chairman of the steel rolling mill association, many companies apprehending a mass exodus of their workmen, have made arrangement for their stay within the campus and nearby facilities maintaining strict control over their health and well being despite lack. John hoerrs account of these events stretches from the industrywide barganing failures of 1982 to the crippling work stoppage at usx u. The company developed in the nineteenth century as an extensive plant served by tributary coal and iron fields, a railway 425 miles 684 km long, and a line of lake steamships.
One of the original colonies, pennsylvania was founded by william penn as a haven for his fellow quakers. Over the years it became a microcosm of america, labor strife and the rise of unions, racial unrest and civil rights. Pittsburghs jones and laughlin steel works in 1967. The men and women of americas steel valley and the granddaughter of a edgar thomson worker.
What it meant to live in americas leading steel town. Iron and steel were pittsburghs main industries for nearly a century and a half. From the ballad death in donora, recorded by folklorist dan hoffman folks in pittsburgh, johnstown, connellsville and the other steel and mining towns of western pennsylvania were used to smog. Homestead, pennsylvania, was the city andrew carnegie built to make steel. Working at youngstown sheet and tube was a source of pride.
Abandoned americas collection of abandoned factories, mills, power plants, refineries, coal breakers, steel mills, and more. Lost steel plants of the monongahela river valley by. Duquesnes mill managers had reasonable success, rare among u. Following the 19811982 recession, the plants laid off 153,000 workers. Steel and millions of other books are available for amazon kindle. History in iron and steel at pottstown historical society. The entire history of steel from hunks of iron streaking through the sky, to the construction of skyscrapers and megastructures, this is the history of the worlds greatest alloy. Homestead steel works was a large steel works located on the monongahela river at homestead, pennsylvania in the united states. The rivers water power and the mills location near the philadelphia to lancaster turnpike later to become u. The 57yearold lives right over the state line in new castle, pa.
As such, it attracted immigrants from all over the world. The area that is now pittsburgh, like most of north america, was inhabited by native americans for centuries. Cuyahoga county, which produced 968,801 tons of iron and steel in 1900, ranked fifth nationally behind allegheny county, pa, cook county, il. He applied to work here at the mill right after high school. Census bureau, mckeesport was the fastest growing municipality in the nation. Its facilities included large rolling mills, a blast furnace, steel works, and nail factoryalthough the latter was destroyed before long see below. This article is intended only to address the business, economic and social dimensions of the industry, since the bulk production of steel began as a result of henry bessemers development of the bessemer converter, in 1857. Smoke pouring into the air from a pittsburgh steel mill, 1906. The conditions in the mills in the late 1800s and early 1900s were hell on earth.
A history of cambria county and its people is an essential part of the progress of civilization in our country for two hundred and twentyfive years. By the 1920s over 20,000 people lived and worked in the area. Steel production in pittsburgh was powered by andrew carnegie and henry clay frick, the founders of the united states steel corporation at the start of the 20th century. Pennsylvania s capital, philadelphia, was the site of. Harrison township history harrison township, allegheny. By 1880, cleveland was a major steel producer, with ten steel mills and 3,000 steelworkers. The disintegration of the steel industry in western pennsylvania and eastern ohio. Property rights reside with the historical society of western pennsylvania.
His book chronicles the lives of three generations of a steel working family from their first. Cambria county archives storeys history of cambria. Through interviews with folks aged 12 to 96, anita kulina has pieced together what could easily be the story of many urban neighborhoods across the nation. Farrell, penna the still standing cowper stoves that held the super heated hot blast, or wind as it was called, for the long demolished blast furnaces at the former sharon steel works in farrell, pa. The pottstown historical society holds a fairly large collection of records from the iron company, including financial and stock records and.
This was an excellent, well researched history of the relationship between carnegie and frick and the history of the steel industry in this country. The book does a good job detailing the history of aliquippa, pa, however, it does not go into great detail concerning the lives of. By 1902 pittsburgh steel had built a rod and wire mill on this property, and was producing 400 tons of wire and nails a day, with a work force of more than 3,000. Beside, but little has been preserved, by record or tradition, of the early history of the portion embraced within the present limits of. Indiana county, pennsylvania postcard history series. In 1901 the pittsburgh steel company bought a ninetysixacre parcel of land from the east side land company, a consortium of local monessen investors. The works of the national tube company at mckeesport have been pretty steadily nonunion from the beginning. Named one of the best business books of 1988 by usa today. Kobus book is brilliant and leaves no doubt about carnegies reign as the king of steel or. Pennsylvania s centurylong mantle as steel making capital of the world pivoted on four successive waves of steelmaking technologies. The national tube company opened in 1872, and in the years directly following, according to the u.239 974 261 410 1439 617 451 883 1202 707 249 556 1278 154 1602 1504 1279 1040 954 108 1443 1339 1245 248 905 1022 477 15 207 1236 591 379 913 1566 508 1056 1416 1174 19 855 1079 1218 1233 1442