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#4608609 - 12/19/17 06:47 PM Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21203
Loc: Orlando, FL
I found an interesting website that has history of old steel mills in Rust Belt states with maps and pictures. I can spend hours looking at photos of a once powerful industry now in ruins.

http://www.coalcampusa.com/rustbelt/rustbelt.htm

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#4608700 - 12/19/17 08:00 PM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: Mr Nice]
UncleDave Offline


Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 1646
Loc: Ca.
Great link.

I have my grandads 25 years of service watch from inland steel

Both my grandparents on my moms side worked there for decades.

UD
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#4608719 - 12/19/17 08:14 PM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: Mr Nice]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12341
Loc: The Motor City
That newspaper clipping featured in the link is dated within a week of when I graduated from engineering school. This was after 6 years of studies to prepare myself for work in the automotive industry. The timing could not have been worse. Job prospects back then were considerably worse than 2009.

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#4608792 - 12/19/17 09:01 PM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: Mr Nice]
JimPghPA Offline


Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 3859
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
Back in the 70's one of my brothers and I worked in the J&L steel mill in Pittsburgh PA during the summers to earn enough money to pay for our college tuition and books. I have worked in the south side open-hearth, the south-side boilers steam plant, the rolling mill, the blast-furnace, and the coke-ovens. A lot of hot hard work, some of it quite dangerous. In the coke-ovens during the summer everyone wore cotton long-underwear under their green flame-retardant work clothes. It was soooo hot that after ten minutes the long-underwear would be soaken wet with sweat and the sweat evaporating from the long-underwear next to your skin would keep you cool. It was soooo hot ontop of the coke-ovens that we had to wear wooden saddles under our work boots because the hot brick surface we walked on would melt the soles of our work-boots without the protection of the wood.
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#4608799 - 12/19/17 09:07 PM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: Mr Nice]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6226
Loc: MI
Fascinating link and cause to reminisce. I grew up in NW Indiana and know that steel mill area along lake Michigan well. Just out of high school in the mid 70's, one year working at US Steel in Gary paid most of my college education. Imagine that. 18 years old and working the coke ovens was very educational for a green around the edges lad. Everyone said that once I started making the big bucks, I would never go to college. I never doubted myself and even turned down their lucrative supervisor training offer.

I remember riding the bus into Gary with mom to go shopping....imagine that! Its a shell of its former glory today. The area immediately south seems to be thriving though. I love to explore the old industrial areas of both Gary and Detroit and imagine what it was like during their golden years.

Edit - JimPghPA, excellent description of the coke ovens. At US Steel, they still had one of the VERY old oven batteries that required mudding the doors closed. With just one year under my belt, I could work nearly every position on the ovens except the "pusher" operator.

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#4608841 - 12/19/17 10:02 PM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: Mr Nice]
Nyogtha Offline


Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 2330
Loc: San Antonio, TX
I worked at the Marathon refinery in Canton, OH from early 2001 to mid 2005, right next door to a Timken steel plant. It's shown in one of the pictures on the pages of the Ohio rust belt. Nostalgic newspaper articles would recall street lights lit 24/7 and automobile headlights required 24/7 in the 1950's in that area.

We would all get all sorts of crud in our tires that would fall out of scrap hauling trucks on their way to Timken. Road hazard coverage made big sense for we who worked in that area.
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#4608858 - 12/19/17 10:22 PM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: Mr Nice]
Linctex Online   content


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6170
Loc: Waco, TX
I used to haul steel out of the Gary, Ind mill and haul it to Minneapolis.... many, many years ago.
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#4608870 - 12/19/17 10:34 PM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: Mr Nice]
HM12460 Offline


Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 2072
Loc: West Michigan
Amazing picture's and read. I worked at a large paper mill here in West Michigan until the economy tanked in 2009 and they closed the door's. It is now torn down and gone. I can relate to how these many thousand's of worker's felt.
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#4608874 - 12/19/17 10:45 PM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: Mr Nice]
c502cid Offline


Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1003
Loc: Elizabeth. Colorado
Great read, thanks. So sad for the workers and how they must have felt when change hit them.
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#4608897 - 12/19/17 11:33 PM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: c502cid]
bbhero Offline


Registered: 03/20/15
Posts: 4630
Loc: Virginia
Change hit them= sending everything production wise overseas or south of US border= race to the bottom. This started 5 decades ago and picked up pace with time. Now, can it be changed in a much more positive way?? That's the big question I have.


Edited by bbhero (12/19/17 11:34 PM)
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#4608899 - 12/19/17 11:39 PM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: Mr Nice]
UncleDave Offline


Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 1646
Loc: Ca.
We spent more money rebuilding japan and europe than we did keeping our own industry modernized.

tragic leadership



UD
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#4608987 - 12/20/17 05:55 AM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: UncleDave]
SeaJay Offline


Registered: 03/05/15
Posts: 1095
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: UncleDave
We spent more money rebuilding japan and europe than we did keeping our own industry modernized.

tragic leadership

UD


True, the US government spent a fortune rebuilding japan and Europe after WWII.

However, the US government does not generally build steel (or any other kind of plant) for private industry as per our customs throughout history. Capitalism and market forces do the building here in the US. A massive investment in US steel plants would have been a major shift in the operations and working of the US government and a sign that the country was shifting towards socialism.

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#4609068 - 12/20/17 07:56 AM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: Mr Nice]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21203
Loc: Orlando, FL
What kind of surprised me is that some houses were built so close to these steel mills.

I do understand they were company built for the workers at the mill.

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#4609173 - 12/20/17 09:45 AM Re: Old steel mills in Rust Belt with maps & pictures [Re: Mr Nice]
dishdude Offline


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8757
Loc: Phoenix
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
What kind of surprised me is that some houses were built so close to these steel mills.

I do understand they were company built for the workers at the mill.


When they were built in the early 1900's, people walked to work and were paid in tokens to spend at the company store. There are a lot of old company towns in that area.
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