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Flex Strut plant Warren Ohio
Forming steel coils into "strut" at the Flex Strut factory in Warren, OH. (Sep. 2006 image by author)


This machine punches holes into "strut" at the Flex Strut plant. (Sep. 2006 image by author)

Genearl Electric Ohio Lamp Warren
G.E.'s Ohio Lamp Plant, in Warren, OH, where all of that company's incandescent light bulbs are manufactured. The factory was actually constructed in the 1890s for the assembly of the first Packard automobiles. Despite the factory's age light bulbs are assembled inside with modern, computerized robotics and skilled workers. Unfortunately, incandescent bulbs are the wave of the past, and G.E.'s flourescent light bulbs are manufactured in China, so this plant will be closing. In the background of the picture are some of Delphi Packard's automotive parts plants. (Sep. 2006 image by author)


Mittal coke works in Warren, OH. Left to right: A portion of the former WCI Steel Co. blast furnace next door, the large coal stockpile, the coal processing plant, the coke works, and the coke quencher is on the right. (May 2007 image by author)


The flare at the coke works next to the former WCI Steel/RG Steel in Warren. (May 2007 image by author)


The gate to the "hot end" of WCI Steel, the last integrated steel mill in the Youngstown-Warren-Sharon region. Opened in 1912, it was originally Trumbull Steel Co., and later (1928) Republic Steel, (1984) LTV Steel, and (1988) WCI Steel. After about two decades as WCI Steel it was owned by Severstal, then, finally, RG Steel. (May 2007 image by author)


Pump house for WCI Steel, along the Mahoning River. Steel mills are always located alongside a river because of the large volume of water that they use. (May 2007 image by author)


Blast furnace and taconite stockpile at Warren. (Image courtesy of RG Steel)


Iron worker in hot metal suit at the Warren steel plant. (Image courtesy of RG Steel)


The rolling mills of former WCI Steel in Warren, later operated by Severstal. When this photo was taken the mills had been idle for six months. In 2013 it was announced that the steel mill in Warren would be demolished, ending the integrated manufacture of coke/iron/steel in the Youngstown area forever. This promted Darryl Parker, president of Local 1375 of United Steelworkers of America, to say, Its a sad reality. Ive advised members to go on with their lives and not to count on it reopening. (Nov. 2009 image by author)


People may forget that the steel mills and other industrial facilities don't just provide jobs to directly to their employees, but also support many service employees and contractors, like the ones at Niles Roll Service. (Nov. 2009 image by author)


In 1917-18 U.S. Steel built the steel mill and company town in the Youngstown suburb of McDonald, OH, named for superintendent Thomas McDonald. U.S. Steel operated the mill until 1980. After sitting idle for about a year and a half, the mill was started up again as McDonald Steel Corporation. They are still successfully running the mill, pictured here. (Sep. 2006 image by author)


This sloped-hearth furnace at McDonald Steel was originally constructed by U.S. Steel in the 1920's. It is still being used in 2006 to heat steel billets purchased by the company from other mini-mills. At the time of this photo, McDonald Steel was supposted to be getting a new reheat furnace so they could retire this one. (Sep. 2006 image by author)


A red-hot billet races by two steel mill workers through the 14" mill at McDonald Steel. In the background are sets of rollers for various shapes manufactured by the company. (Sep. 2006 image by author)


A glowing steel shape zips through the "cross country" rolling mill at McDonald Steel. (Sep. 2006 image by author)


Precision machining of rollers on lathes at McDonald Steel. (Sep. 2006 image by author)


The Italian-American War Veterans Club is the epicenter of Youngstown's Brier Hill, once one of the largest Little Italy's in America. Though the neighborhood is just a shell of itself, and no longer really an Italian neighborhood, a "Brier Hill Italian Fest" is still held there once a year. (May 2007 image by author)


This is where I ate a "Brier Hill pizza": a sweet red sauce with slices of bell peppers and romano or parmasean cheese. (May 2006 image by author)


This is actually a portion of the pulpit (control room) of a blooming mill from the Republic Steel mill in Youngstown. It is part of the permanent exhibition at The Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor. This is a very classy and informative museum in downtown Youngstown, and I don't understand why I was the only person visiting it on this day. The lady hosting the museum that day was very courteous and helpful (she called the Avalon Gardens and MVR Restaurant for me to see which one was open so I could score a Brier Hill pizza), and the exhibits were very well exectued. I learned a lot in this museum, and I would like to see more people come out and patronize it. It is a must see for all scholars of the Rust Belt. (May 2007 image by author)


I think these structures might be from LTV / Republic Steel's Youngstown mills, which closed in the mid 1980s. (May 2007 image by author)


Detail of the remains of a Youngstown steel mill. Maybe these mills would have survived if the Mahoning or Shenango River had been navigable, and thus "taconite, coke, and limestone" would have been cheaper to transport (on barges) than on the railroad. (I suspect this is what happened to Johnstown, PA, as well.) (May 2007 image by author)


Republic Steel's abandoned rolling mill in Youngstown as it looked in 1986 as it was being abandoned. (Public domain image by Louise Taft Cawood, Historical American Engineering Record).


Cresote ties from a long ago removed railroad, grassy plains where furnaces and mills used to reside, and part of the Youngstown Sheet and Tube mill in the background of this photo. (May 2007 image by author)


Rusting tanks behind one of the old steel mills in Struthers, OH, just south of Youngstown. The Struthers cop that was hanging around there said it was a "Sheet and Tube" building - probably Campbell Works. (May 2007 image by author)


Remains of defunct Youngstown Sheet and Tube (Image by Stuart Spivack)


A remnant of Youngstown Sheet and Tube's Campbell Works (I think the locals pronounce it like "Camel"). Campbell is a small town that is part of the Youngstown metro area. (May 2007 image by author)


When the steel mills in Younstown closed in the late 1970s and early '80s the workers and the population of the area didn't take it lying down. The fought it, the strugged with it, and they instituted the CASTLO Industrial Park from the remains of YST's Campbell Works. Even today several tenants are using these former Campbell Works buildings for various businesses. CASTLO is a combination of Campbell, Struthers, and Lowellville. (May 2007 image by author)


Detail of a remaining Campbell Works building. (May 2007 image by author)


Old steel mill ruins at Campbell or Struthers, Ohio. (May 2007 image by author)


One of the industrial firms that is still standing strong in the Mahoning Valley is Astro Shapes in Struthers, OH. This manufacturer of extruded aluminum parts was founded in 1971, and its nice to mention a success story when discussing the Youngstown area. (May 2007 image by author)


Ellwood Engineered Castings is a foundry in Hubbard, OH, between Youngstown, Ohio and Sharon, Pennsylvania. (Sep. 2006 image by author)


Inside the Ellwood Engineered Castings foundry. (Sep. 2006 image by author)


Ingot molds at the Ellwood foundry in Hubbard. These are the "finished products" of the foundry. (Sep. 2006 image by author)


While sections of the Ellwood foundry are close to 75 years old (according to employees), the melt shop, pictured here, was constructed in 1982. (Sep. 2006 image by author)


Another view of Ellwood Engineered Castings foundry in Hubbard, OH gives a glimpse into the historical nature of the plant. (Sep. 2006 image by author)


This huge crankshaft is from a steam powered steel mill drive from a defunct Youngstown Sheet and Tube mill. This engine, called a Tod engine, is being restored and put on public display by the Tod Engine Foundation. The organization is raising money to complete the restoration and display of the engine by selling a CD-ROM described as "a compilation of historical information regarding the William Tod Company and photos and information about the preservation of the Tod 34" x 68" x 60" cross compound stationary steam engine." (Sep. 2006 image by author)


The sintering business ain't what it used to be. The sintering plant, which was probably part of U.S. Steel's Ohio Works, was operated by WCI steel until 2001. It was demolished in 2007. (Aug. 2008 image by author)


V&M Star Steel is a mini-mill operating in buildings which were formerly part of Youngstown Sheet and Tube's integrated steel mill at Brier Hill, Youngstown. (Aug. 2008 image by author)


Detail of V&M Star Steel. (Aug. 2008 image by author)


Another view of V&M Star Steel and the Ohio Central System railroad. (Aug. 2008 image by author)


Sign on a railroad overpass in Youngstown. (Aug. 2008 image by author)


As long as you live in the Rust Belt, you might as well celebrate it - like this "Iron Man" statue at Niles Iron and Metal in Niles, OH. (Nov. 2009 image by author)


The ruins of the Jeanette blast furnace of Youngstown Sheet and Tube's Brier Hill plant. This was the last blast furnace in Youngstown before it was demolished in 1997, after it had inspired the lyric, "...sweet Jenny I'm sinkin' down." (Image courtesy of James Jeffrey Higgins, Images Of The Rust Belt, available at Amazon)

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