All rights reserved.
Pittsburgh
1940's
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
Monongahela Wharf
Westland Coal Mine
"Mantrip" Going into a "Drift Mine"