Pathways to progress: The Great Lakes; Steel builds a new economy
Through the facilities of the station and the National Association of educational broadcasters Michigan State College presents to progress. By means of a grant from the fund for adult education an independent organization established by the Ford Foundation radio station WKRN by recording brings you the Great Lakes pathway to progress.
Hear this song. The Great Lakes region pose a dynamic composed by the labors of millions of people working together in our home to live all the drivers of business activity. The beauty of nature and the utilization of natural resources. Glorious past a promising future. At my last picture example you. Hear of a song of the Great Lakes region. As ways to progress. It was a story of a
vast scope and great strength from the greatness of the biggest open pit in the world. Rhythm in the movement of millions of workers going to and from the factories the stores on the farm vital and the buzzing to. Hear it and the ringing of industry in the roaring fashioning the miracles of the hour of. Dancing reflections of. Progress here Bill.
Hey Jack listen to this. A messenger boy of the name of Andrew Carnegie yesterday found the drive for the amount of $500. Like an honest fellow he promptly made known the fact and deposited the paper in good hands of our whites identification. No they're fine young men for you. He should go places. Andrew Carnegie did go places. A dozen years later he laid the foundations for the Carnegie Steel Company. The first giant of steel loosely I made a decision. If I'm right it will mean a great deal to our future. Your decisions have always been very clever and I have every faith in your judgment. It's about iron isn't it. Yes Lucy it is. I decided to concentrate on iron and steel investments entirely. As you well know I'm not a pioneer pioneering doesn't pay but I do fancy myself a good businessman and I'm in usually close behind the pioneers when things begin to look like good business prospects and you think that's the case with iron and steel.
I certainly do my dear. Every venture we have undertaken with iron so far is prove successful. And now the time is ripe for a really big things in the field. The whole country needs more steel. Trains are getting faster and heavier all the rails eventually will have to be steel. More bridges more farm machinery and steel for ships. You know Lucy one day all ships will be made from steel. Every industry you can think of will lead more steel in one way or another. So that's my decision. From now on iron and steel all the way for Andrew Carnegie. Andrew Carnegie iron and steel all the way steadily here build a great empire Union iron mills the Edgar Thompson steel company at
Braddock largest and finest mill in the world one Carnegie acquired at the homestead mills of an untamed steel company. Carnegie added them one by one to his expanding company. I own I'm steel plants Coca-Cola properties Superior region or mines a fleet of liquor or ships on the connecting railroad to his pop column on Lake Erie. His decision of 1865 proved its wisdom over a period of 35 fabulously successful years. The shrewd Scotsman that built an enterprise the like of which had never before been seen in America by nineteen hundred. The Carnegie Steel Company was showing a net earnings figure of some 40 million dollars a year. But the competition had grown strong too. John D Rockefeller owned the best my anonyma Sabi and of little of Great Lakes steamers to Holland knew of steel companies on the rise challenge Carnegie's dominance the federal steel company the Pennsylvania American steel and wire. These were strong and growing all the time. Carnegie's the
threat that these looming leviathans posed to him threatened to expand even further. Steelman saw a devastating war in the offing one they wanted to avoid if at all possible. Their thoughts turned in the direction of combination. Well Charlie my boy I'll be very honest with you. I'd rather sell than embark on this battle I've been talking about. I'm not so young and I have a lot of wealth and a lot of things I want to do with it. Tell the Morgan people I'm ready to sell out. The great Scotsman Andrew Carnegie sold his empire of steel to JP Morgan interest at his own price four hundred ninety two million dollars. He retired then to an occupation of giving away his vast wealth. But he left behind the steel world's great name that will never be forgotten in nineteen one giant was born bigger than any before and embracing most of the Major Ionian steel properties in the land capitalization one billion four hundred
million dollars first chairman of the board Judge Albert H Gary leader of the JP Morgan interests first president Charles Schwab who started as a stick driver with Carnegie and rose to become the president of the Carnegie Company before the great merger. Name they are knighted States Steel Corporation. From then on until today it's been the biggest of them all the unquestioned leader in the field and known in the industry simply as the corporation. But that's the industry today of its beginning. Colossus came early to this land of America workable or was found in all 13 of the original colonies. It's a significant story that the first successful Iron Works in the United States during this time. Massachusetts historic under the leadership of one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
later Iron Works were built in almost every big community in the 13 colonies making cast iron skillets nails here in America's new world way of life. And America went forward together when industry began its great western part of the 18th century moved with it. That migration was a prelude to the phase of American history called the real revolution in the first part of the 19th century. The United States started a fateful change in its economy destined to alter the history of America and the world. The States shifted from primarily agricultural occupations to a manufacturing economy. The new emphasis culminated in a tremendous achievement the greatest industrial establishment in the world which placed America in the forefront of the modern age and iron was the basic material.
The first Iron and Steel for the iron Colossus first settled when he moved west Pittsburg bridge on Fraser erected a forge in 1749 time and began making tools including flintlock muskets that location was well situated to favor the growth of the iron industry. Joseph McClurg set up Pittsburgh's first foundries sometime around eighteen five Pittsburgh foundry when the clerk specialized in the production of cannon howitzers and shell is foundry supplied to great American military commanders heroes of the War of 1812 the first Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry who built a fleet on Lake Erie and went after the British forces. The second well better an Indian fighter General Andrew Jackson in a war notable for many American setbacks and outright defeats. The picture is of Harry Jackson where outstanding military triumphs. It was significant but part of their armaments came from the new Iron City it prophesied the development of later and greater
industrial strength. That would be the nation's elevation and even bigger and deadlier conflict. 25 of the Pittsburgh district was famous for a wide variety of iron and steel products. Fire shovels tongs drawing gimlets chisels and bulls plow shares and plenty of nails all of them essential items for the developing western frontier and Pittsburgh was thriving on its diet of cinders and smoke. In 1820 had been a sprawling village with a population of 10000 people. By 1860 the Iron City was home to 130000 persons and unquestionably the center of the new Iron Age. But the same years that saw Pittsburgh growing into a great industrial city also saw the continuing movement of the iron Colossus from the seaboard states to the border of the Midwest the Midwest which includes the
Great Lakes area later to become the greatest iron and steel manufacturing region of the world. Besides the concentrations of iron finances in western Pennsylvania others were built in north eastern and southeastern Ohio western Kentucky and Tennessee. Furnaces to supply local needs were established in Illinois Indiana and Wisconsin. Introduction of my own started at Detroit both the low end Cleveland in the I own giant got help from his strong brother the iron horse. The rapid development of railroads encouraged longer holes in raw materials as well as finished products new furnaces sought notation is going to be expanding rail lines. The iron operators wanted to be close to the lines of supply and the railroad industry not only connected iron producers with new and more distant markets here but also became
bigger iron customer its own. Command grew for the metal needed for thousands of miles of rails iron for the boilers and engine parts and for the rolling train with. And coal in the earth was playing its part to win this great evolution American iron makers were slow to realize the value of coal in the iron smelting process up to 1835 they used mainly the traditional charcoal plentiful in the vast forest lands. But an Englishman William Bernstein introduced because process in smelting up a Mariamne furnace Huntington County Pennsylvania. The use of cooked coal was slow in catching on but gradually came into wider usage and the locations of coal deposits had their influence on the shift of the iron industry. But the epic of steel is not alone a story of materials and resources it's also a story of men their names recall the great
moments of their lives and times. William Calley at Avila Kentucky the late 1840s I tell you more that William Kelley is teached in The Hague. Why what a thing to say dear. What makes you think so doggone Vetter says he can make steel by blowing cold air. Is Andy's giving a demonstration Saturday next week. Get a crowd of a regular for more lippen down the comer than they're killed when the words that you could convert. Well I never. I certainly feel sorry for Mildred. It's not her fault she married a man that's crazy. Go if you think it's been draftable make steel. Let's say you bought it. Well let's try it. All right boys. Stand back everyone. I'm going to turn on the phone there.
Was. Well it's all over now and you can be thankful for that. Lucky no one was hurt. Yes for that I am thankful. But I'm still not satisfied it won't work. It didn't work today Bill. I know it but we're not done yet. We'll try it again. Shortly after 1850 Kelly announced that he would give another demonstration an even bigger crowd was on hand for this occasion and they all took care to stand well back from the converter.
The crowd saw a large vessel shaped like an egg with an opening on one side near the top. It was somewhat bigger than a bat. Teles man poured my own into the race. Then Kelly turned on the cold air. Immediately a great roaring sound began and fire spewed out in many colors. In a few minutes the noise on the fire died down. A blacksmith stepped forward took the small portion of the cooling my arm and with his camera quickly formed a perfect horse. When it was finished he threw it at the feet of the amazed onlookers. Well be hones while a good look at the dead horse you. Then the blacksmith took more of the cool metal and quickly fashioned it into the finest nails they had ever seen. Taking the nails on the newly made horse he shot the horse of one of the spectators and laid his hammer down. The days of laughing at William Calley were over.
Although Bill Keller you never entirely perfected his process he was able to produce soft malleable steel or iron that was practical for the uses of that. Many a river steamboat at that time was fitted out with boiler plates made in the works in 1863 the callee pneumatic process company was formed and using an advanced technique discovered by Robert Musset an English metallurgist they built and operated an experimental plant at Wyandotte Michigan in 1864. The first commercial ingots of a process steel were turned out and just one year later at the North Chicago rolling mills these ingots were rolled into the first railroad rails made in America. The crucial importance of Kelly's work became apparent the cost of steel rails plummeted from one hundred sixty six dollars a ton and 1867 to forty five dollars a ton in 1877 it took the United States only three years more to become the greatest steel making country on
earth and the name of William Calley ism blazoned for ever in the history of all industrial heritage. Man of Steel names resound in the hard ringing tones of iron itself and recall of the great moments of their lives and times. Henry Bessemer England 1858 at last my friends I had the process perfected. Now we can make steel in any quantity. Simply using the method of forcing cold air through the container holding molten iron oxygen in the air and carbon and silicon of the oil combine in the fiery giant battle impurities a burnt out in ten minutes and then there's nothing to do but pour out the steel into the Olds. I say Henry what are you calling this method of yours. Hell I have patents on it you know and I've described it as the best of a process. Got to keep Henry's name in there you know for business reasons. Bessemer process. The name stuck and the method made steel. Four
hundred eleven million tons of steel in the United States from 1867 to 1944. The Kelly Bessemer process but multiplied steel output a thousand fold in twenty years was invented by two different men in two different countries both of them at one time or thought by their friends and neighbors to be just plain crazy. But men of steel are noted for their great determination and in doing so. Today there are over 400 iron and steel mills in the United States. Most of the great blast furnaces are in the Great Lakes area including the Canadian furnace at St. Marie Hamilton and port Colburne more than 80 percent of our nation's Ionian steel is produced in the Great Lakes area which is the greatest steelmaking region in the world. There are
three interwoven reasons for this region's steel supremacy. First the natural resources. Second the lakes themselves with cheap efficient transportation and food. The great markets with their incessant demands for I own and steal resources transportation markets. The three of the is set the stage for the climax of our story. The iron Colossus entered the Great Lakes life and history for ever. On the afternoon of September 18th 1840 for that day marks one of the most dramatic discoveries in American industrial and economic history. William hébert a government surveyor was working with his crew in the region just south of Lake Superior in the Michigan Upper Peninsula. Settle here moment lies when I checked the compass. OK what the devil's name is this doggone compass is going crazy. What's wrong with that bill. Just look at this thing jump around a lot
just waving around a whole quarter circle seeing compass needle is dancing a jig before never anything like this. I'll check my solar compass. Something funny here. Couldn't follow that compass ten feet. We must be near by some mineral Riley. You and Joe take a look around and see what you can find. There's got to be something causing this compass to fidget. Look your abilities though. Oh Joe your walk is cool. That's what's running your magnetic compass crazy yeah. Looks almost like pure iron. You know the way this thing actually must be a mighty lot of air around here. Shall we break off a few samples will need to know we've got to get going on the rest of the surveying project not too long for snowfall up here in this wilderness. And I'll write it up my notes. Want to Be sure to have this case on record showing what these compasses act like. September 18th 1844 there apparently learned what a teaser and bunnies in this
way. Although the significance of their discovery did not dawn on Byrd and his men it was nevertheless a tremendous find of timely and crucial importance. Out east the iron and steel industry was growing to bloom proportions. The famous industrial revolution was in full swing and the need for iron and steel was growing more rapidly than anyone realized. Bert and his man had found the fabled mountain of iron the Spirit Mountain of which the Indians had told stories for generations. The mountain that would yield food by the thousands of tons for the hungry iron Colossus. These rangers supplied the furnaces of Pennsylvania and Ohio with most of their order during the last quarter of the nineteenth century and tied the knot between the Great Lakes region and steel for ever. But even the rich don't deposits on the northern Michigan Peninsula were soon to be dwarfed by later discoveries west of Lake Superior. The biggest find of all was yet to come around the turn of the century at the peak of American industrial growth. The
greatest of all I own all ranges in the world was uncovered to the hand of man. History credits the discovery to the merit brothers of Duluth Minnesota. Lewis Merritt father of seven sons died in 1880 but his sons never forgot the sample of red dust that remained in their house. The red dust he brought back from two false gold rushes years before when the boys became timber cruisers there long treks through the forest in search of pine but the sawmills also found them on the lookout for iron ore. They often talked about a strange strip of hills stretching for some fifty miles across that section of the state. The location was some 75 miles northwest of Duluth and what the Indians called height of the land geographically of the great watershed of the American continent. On November 16th 1898 Captain J a nickel's mining that strip of America boys struck paydirt pay dirt in the most fabulous sense of the expression the captain struck into the first body of soft hematite ore in Minnesota.
It tested 64 percent pure iron within 10 years of its discovery the Mesabi Range had poured 40 million tonnes of ore into the eager converters at Pittsburgh and South Chicago. Today the Mesabi is the biggest open pit mining operation in the world. The great and practically inexhaustible supply of iron had been found. The door to the smelting Mills had been opened with the completion of the SU canal in the lakes. Well they were an open road to progress and America soon led the world in steel production. Meanwhile the steel industry continued moving into the Great Lakes area. Steel wanted to be closer to the heart of its growth and life closer to the iron ore on the limestone with better economics to work on thanks to cheap waterway transportation. Closer to the coal fields of eastern Ohio and southern Illinois whence came the fuels for the blast furnaces and closer to the markets where steel was sold and used. The markets were also moving westward U.S. and clustering around the Great Lakes region where the big customers of the iron
Colossus grew bigger and bought more. They were up to when they moved into the Great Lakes region of steel manufacture shifted to the center of its three big advantages natural resources transportation markets. Today the great strong steel thread directions into the lakes region the throbbing temple of America's first basic metal contributes its melody of strength to the life of the region and the nation. America today defends country factories and cradles of Transportation the backbone and thousands of all modern inventions. The tireless worker the strongest we have the toughest we've ever found.
From the time when young America began its growth and expansion he bent his strong back to every task we could find for him as the task grew bigger and tougher. He grew greater and stronger. He led the industrial revolution and helped us build a great nation. He fought our fights. He cleared our wilderness. And today the iron Colossus works as hard and long as ever and never tires. Although a part of him goes everywhere. His home is in the Great Lakes. His great strength may be drawn from Mother Earth that the Messiah the reins of the coup you know I'm the nominee or my cat. It may be hold over hundreds of water miles by any one of hundreds of the great red belly is as our ships are called. It may be a new old in any of the hundreds of blast furnaces and it may be forged and formed in any of thousands of busy factories but it will always have the great respect commanded by its name. Steel and the sounds of steel will always have their place in the Great Lakes symphony of life. For here steel
established its permanent base here in the Great Lakes steel build a new economy. A listening ear would give a symphony of the Great Lakes. With music of life in the let me. Play it in the huge arena of nature's I've been. Storing in scope inspiring in its vitality and blending and bring out every voice into an on ending modulation and the bright promise of the future. Occasion of the orchestration change the tempo want to accelerate the movements will very American but this strong and deep. And continues for ever. The other great light. HOUSE way of progress.
- Steel builds a new economy
- Producing Organization
- Michigan State University
- WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program focuses on the steel industry and its place in the Great Lakes region.
- Series Description
- A 13-part documentary drama about the economic impact of the Great Lakes region in the United State.
- Broadcast Date
- Steel industry and trade--Great Lakes (North America)--History.
- Media type
Director: Kushler, Dave
Funder: Fund for Adult Education (U.S.)
Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Producing Organization: WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
Researcher: Honsowetz, Duane
Writer: LaGuire, Al
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-33-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Pathways to progress: The Great Lakes; Steel builds a new economy,” 1955-10-30, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 29, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-8s4jr23d.
- MLA: “Pathways to progress: The Great Lakes; Steel builds a new economy.” 1955-10-30. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 29, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-8s4jr23d>.
- APA: Pathways to progress: The Great Lakes; Steel builds a new economy. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-8s4jr23d