1925 Homestead Works
Base of Blast Furnace
Pittsburgh Waterfront - Monongahela River
September, 1936
"The Real Men of Steel"
These photos were donated to the SteelCactus Foundation by Douglas Haney.
Photos restored by the SteelCactus Foundation
Photo Antiquities Museum of Pittsburg
531 East Ohio Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 231-7881
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1935 Homestead Works
Reheating Ingot
1936 Homestead Works
Roll Turning Lathe
J & L Steel
The earliest foundations of Jones and Laughlin Steel Company were the
American Iron Company, founded in 1852 by Bernard Lauth and B. F. Jones a
few miles south of Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River. Lauth's interest
was bought in 1854 by James H. Laughlin. The first firm to bear the name of
Jones and Laughlin was organized in 1861 and headquartered at Third & Ross
in downtown Pittsburgh.
Originally producing only iron, the enterprise began the production of steel in 1886. Over the ensuing 60 years, the company expanded its facilities and its operations along
both sides of the Monongahela River and along the Ohio River. The Hot Metal Bridge across the Monongahela River was built to connect the blast furnaces on one side of the
river with the rolling mills on the other side of the river. In 1905, a new plant was begun at Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. The company also owned coal mines in western
Pennsylvania in its early days, including some reached by an incline in Pittsburgh's South Side which connected to the railroad over the bridge adjacent to the Hot Metal
Bridge. Other mines were along the nearby Becks Run, also directly connected by railroad. The incline and mines were gone before 1900, but mining continued in
Pennsylvania towns such as Vestaburg and elsewhere. The former Otis Steel company along the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland was purchased in 1942, and then in the
mid-1960s a finishing plant was constructed in Hennepin, Illinois.