1945 Homestead Works
Turning a Waterwheel Shaft
1944 Homestead Works
Aftermath of Open Hearth Explosion
1945 Homestead Works
Women in Wartime Production
"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
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1944 Homestead Works
Making a Pour
1944 Homestead Works - 12,000 Ton Press
During the course of World War II,
Pennsylvania supplied 31 percent of
America's steel and 20 percent of
worldwide production, a phenomenal
accomplishment. The state was also the
country's leading supplier of Portland
cement. Though the state's oil
production had declined–it had led
the nation into the early 1900sâ
€“Pennsylvania produced the nation's
highest quality of vital lubricating oil
and its refineries churned out millions
of gallons of 100-octane gasoline, a
necessity for modern aircraft engines.
Agricultural production also rose, as
farmers pitched in to help the war

The state's industrial output was
staggering. Existing factories retooled
to make a variety of weapons, vehicles,
aircraft, and parts. The state's
contribution to the war effort ranged
from battleships and tanks to
torpedoes, bombs, and rations. The Sun
Shipbuilding Company in Chester
constructed 281 T-2 tanker oil carriers,
nearly 40 percent of all the tankers
built during the war. The American
Bantam Car Co. in Butler, PA designed
and produced the first jeeps.

Led by steel, industries in Pittsburgh
produced a broad range of material for
the war effort. The Dravo Corporation
built the new class of attack landing
craft that made possible the successful
Allied invasions in Italy, Normandy,
and all the major island campaigns in
the Pacific. The Pittsburgh Grease
Plant manufactured the waterproof
grease vital for successful amphibious
operations in France and the Pacific.
Aircraft motors, rayon for parachutes,
armor plate for warships,
reconnaissance aircraft, compasses,
radio crystals-Pennsylvania industry
supplied it all.

Women also left their homes in large
numbers to work in factories alongside
men. By 1945, more than one-third of
the entire work force was composed of
women. Rosie the Riveter became a
national icon, while WASP pilot Helen
Richey and other women garnered
headlines by serving in all branches of
the armed forces.
1944 Homestead Works - 160 Inch Mill
They demolished an 8 block section of
Homestead during WWII to expand
the armor plate mill. The 12,000 ton
Forging Press at Homestead was left
standing when they demolished the
mill. It still sits behind Lowe's Home
Store at the Waterfront. It was used
to make and bend 18" armor plate for
battleships during the war.