The Beginnings of Bethlehem Steel

The Beginnings of Bethlehem Steel (HM25AH)

Location: Bethlehem, PA 18015 Northampton County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 36.894', W 75° 22.137'

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150 Years of Industrial History

The story of Bethlehem Steel begins in the 1840s when the Lehigh Canal and the coal it carried triggered the American Industrial Revolution in the Lehigh Valley. In the 1850s, newly-constructed railroad lines like the Lehigh Valley Railroad needed durable iron rails. Robert Sayre, chief engineer of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, formed the Bethlehem Iron Company in 1860 and hired John Fritz, a self-taught engineer, to construct his innovative rolling mills to make stronger rails.
Facing competition from steel producers in England, and later local producers, Fritz and Sayre began making steel rails in the 1870s, then expanded into forging armor plate and guns for the US Navy in the 1880s. In 1901, shareholders Joseph Wharton and Charles Schwab took control then restructured the company with the plan to develop it into a world-class steel producer. In 1904, the name was changed to the Bethlehem Steel Company.
The building in front of you served as a stock house-storage space for the raw materials to make iron. Built in 1863, this building witnessed over 130 years of iron and steel manufacturing.
"I intend to make Bethlehem the prize steelworks of its class, not only in the United States, but in the entire world."
-Charles Schwab

Bethlehem Steel Chairman, 1904-1939

captions, from left to right, read]
· A view of the Bethlehem Iron Works
from the north bank of the Lehigh River by Rufus Grider, May 1874.
· An 1881 watercolor painting of Bethlehem Iron by Joseph Pennell.
HM NumberHM25AH
Placed BySteelStacks
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, February 5th, 2018 at 1:05pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 468790 N 4496074
Decimal Degrees40.61490000, -75.36895000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 36.894', W 75° 22.137'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 36' 53.64" N, 75° 22' 8.22" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)484, 610
Closest Postal AddressAt or near HMT, Bethlehem PA 18015, US
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