Diner in Brownsville, PA. (Apr. 2009 image by author)

This slag pile near Monessen, another Monongahela River town, was probably created by Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Company, which was the lifeblood of the town until the 1980's. (Jul. 2004 image by author)

Wheeling-Pittsburgh's integrated steel mill in Monessen has been torn down, except for this coke works, later operated by Koppers, then Arcelor-Mittal.(Nov. 2006 image by author)

Quenching hot coke at Koppers' coke plant in Monessen, PA. (Nov. 2006 image by author)

Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Co. shut down the Monessen works in 1986. This is how the idled blast furnace and steel mill looked in 1991. Most of this is gone now. (1991 image by Jet Lowe, Historical American Engineering Record).

Monessen's cultural make up is largely Italian-, Slovak- and African-American, but there are other groups as well. (Jul. 2004 image by author)

This was Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel's last remaining operation in the Monongahela Valley - the Allenport mill. Its closure in 2007-2008 was the end of an era of steelmaking in Mid-Mon Valley towns such as Donora and Monessen. (Dec. 2003 image by author)

Charleroi, Pennsylvania, showing mill houses with the former Corning Ware factory behind them. (Sep. 2009 image by author)

Barges are a fixture on the Mon River. In the background is an industrial section of Donora, a town that was famous for it's killer 1948 smog. The air seems fine now, though. (Jan. 2006 image by author)

Another view of Donora. (Jan. 2006 image by author)

Donora, a classic Western PA town, as viewed from across the river in Webster, PA. As a matter of fact, the Rust Belt phenomenon could be said to have began in Donora when U.S. Steel closed their plant there in 1966. (Jan. 2006 image by author)

Steel and wire is no longer made in Donora, but some industry does remain. (Jan. 2006 image by author)

The Mon Valley Plant of Ductmate Industries, Inc. (Jan. 2006 image by author)

The historical infracstructure of the Rust Belt is evident in the Webster bridge. (Jan. 2006 image by author)

Somewhere between the Borough of New Eagle and the City of Monongahela. (Sep. 2009 image by author)

This old industrial complex along the Allegheny River is the original location of ALCOA's aluminum manufacturing plant. In the background is the city of New Kensington, PA. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Here's a closer view of the old ALCOA complex in New Kensington. ALCOA'S predecessor - the Pittsburgh Reduction Company - established an aluminum producing plant on this site in 1891, however none of the structures from that plant survive. After 1900 no aluminum was produced in New Kensington. Instead aluminum PRODUCTS, especially cooking utensils, were manufactured here. This once successful venture ended when ALCOA closed the New Kensington works in 1971. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Alley in New Kensington. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Allegheny Ludlum is a producer of stainless steel that has been a mainstay of Western Pennsylvania since it was formed in 1938. Here are their facilities containing their furnaces for melting various types of steels in Natrona, PA. (Image courtesy of Charles Rodkey)

Detail of Allegheny Ludlum's Natrona plant in the setting sun. (Image courtesy of Charles Rodkey)

A final view of the "hot end" of Allegheny Ludlum's stainless steel operations in Natrona. (Image courtesy of Charles Rodkey)

Allegheny Ludlum steel worker wearing his "hot metal suit" to protect him from the intense heat of the furnaces and molten metal in the ladle. (Image courtesy of J.S.)

An old industrail district in the middle of Derry, Westmoreland County. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Ruins of the old Westinghouse ceramic insulator plant in Derry. Westinghouse, once one of the dominant corporations of western Pennsylvania, sold the plant in 1985 to Industrial Ceramics, Inc. It is unknown when they closed the factory, but it still sits in the middle of Derry borough in a half-demolished state. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Moss growing inside of the Derry insulator plant shows how long it has been since the plant was operational. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Another view inside the insulator plant at Derry. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

One of the remaining kilns for the manufacture of ceramic insulators at the old Westinghouse plant. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

The residents of Derry may not realize that every area of America does not contain a Ukranian bowling alley. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Mt. Pleasant in Westmoreland County is known for its glass manufacturing. (Nov. 2004 image by author)

Photo of Mount Pleasant, PA taken while standing in the middle of Route 31. The large building with the green roof is Pritt's Feed Mill, typical of small Rust Belt towns. (Sep. 2009 image by author)

Friday evening in the Rust Belt - Everson, PA. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

AES Beaver Vally power plant. (Feb. 2007 image by author)

Bethelehm Steel in Bethlehem, PA. When this photo was taken in 1979 I doubt that anyone would have believed that this mill would ever close. But close it did in 1995, and once-mighty Bethlehem Steel Co. doesn't even exist anymore. (1979 image by Jet Lowe, Historical American Engineering Record).

Here's a Whitworth steam bending press somewhere in the dead steel mills in Bethlehem, PA. (Image courtesy of Nic Pouliot)