U.S. Steel casts long shadow
The sidewalk beneath Pittsburgh's tallest skyscraper is rust-stained from the steel-clad U.S. Steel Tower, as if a 62-story steel spike had been driven into Downtown.
In much the same way, the storied steel titan drove Pittsburgh's economy for decades, until the 1980s.
"How do you define Pittsburgh without thinking about U.S. Steel• It's inseparable," said August Carlino, president and CEO of Rivers of Steel, a group in Homestead that preserves and promotes the region's steel-making heritage.
"The company and the steel industry it built put a name on this region and contributed to its economic development for over 100 years," said Carlino.
At its peak in 1943 amid World War II, U.S. Steel employed about 340,000 people in this country, say corporation records. That included about 50,000 U.S. Steel workers locally, at plants from Homestead to Clairton.
U.S. Steel was founded a century ago by combining companies that included Carnegie Steel Co. The Wall Street colossus J.P. Morgan formed U.S. Steel on Feb. 25, 1901, with $1.4 billion in invested capital -- making it the first billion-dollar company in U.S. history.
In 1902, its first full year of operation, U.S. Steel produced nearly 11 million tons of raw steel, or roughly two in every three tons of steel produced in America. Its output went into everything from railroad rails to automobiles to appliances -- even New York's famed Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
But by the 1980s, a combination of "global economics, price issues and power struggles behind labor and management" crushed U.S. Steel's influence and employment levels, said Carlino.
Today, U.S. Steel employs about 4,650 people in this region. Its local works include the Edgar Thomson plant in Braddock, the Clairton plant and the Irvin plant in Dravosburg, The imposing headquarters building was completed in 1971.
"It's now a shadow of itself," said Carlino. "But U.S. Steel laid a foundation of steel-related businesses in this region," such as Pittsburgh's many engineering firms.
Who was the first chairman of U.S. Steel Corp.?
A. Andrew Carnegie
B. J.P. Morgan
C. Elbert Gary
D. James Laughlin
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Unabashed church pastors put politics front and center
- Black Friday chaos dwindles thanks to earlier deals, online sales
- Group urges Port Authority of Allegheny County to fund more transit routes
- Pakistan’s private schools chief rebukes teenage activist Malala Yousafzai
- Contractor eyes early finish to work on New Stanton interchange of Interstate 70
- Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
- 2 Greensburg properties left on demo list
- $2,000 donated for abused puppies recovering at South Huntingdon shelter
- Convinced Fed will raise rates in December, investors parse meaning of ‘gradual’ increase
- Jeannette trudges through blight
- Greensburg streetlights to be updated, save city $90K