|All rights reserved.
|ALL THINGS PITTSBURGH
|Pittsburgh was at the center of the "Arsenal of Democracy" that provided steel, aluminum, munitions and machinery for the U.S.
and the Allies during World War II. Pittsburgh's mills contributed 95 million tons of steel to the war effort.
Now that the war was won it was time to clean up...
David Lawrence, a Democrat, served as mayor of Pittsburgh from 1946 to 1959 and as Pennsylvania's governor from 1959 to 1963.
Lawrence used his political power to transform Pittsburgh's political machine into a modern governmental unit that could run the
city well and honestly. In 1946 Lawrence decided to enforce the Smoke Control Ordinance of 1941 because he believed smoke
abatement was crucial for the city's future economic development. However, enforcement placed a substantial burden on the city's
working-class because smoky bituminous coal was much less expensive than smokeless fuels. One round of protests came from
Italian-American organizations, which called for delay in enforcing it. Enforcement raised their cost of living and threatened the jobs
of their relatives in nearby bituminous coal mines. Despite dislike of the smoke abatement program, Italian Americans strongly
supported the re-election of Lawrence in 1949, in part because many of them were on the city payroll.
|Corner of Liberty Avenue & Fifth Avenue
|Westland Coal Mine
Change of Shift
|Sunday Morning in Pittsburgh
|Rich and productive, Pittsburgh was also the "Smoky City," with smog sometimes so thick that streetlights burned during the day
as well as rivers that resembled open sewers. Civic leaders, notably Mayor David L. Lawrence, elected in 1945, Richard K. Mellon,
chairman of Mellon Bank and John P. Robin began smoke control and urban revitalization, also known as Urban Renewal projects
that transformed the city in unforeseen ways.
|600 Block of Liberty Avenue
|Westland Coal Mine
"Mantrip" Going into a "Drift Mine"