The Fall of an American Rome: Deindustrialization of the American Dream

By Quentin R. Skrabec Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13. DE-INDUSTRIALIZATION OF AN AMERICAN COMPANY
— JONES & LAUGHLIN (AKA LTV)

De-industrialization stripped communities and individuals of their identity. Part of that identity was with the companies these individuals worked for. It may seem strange to people in Washington DC and to non-industrial employees, but companies are mourned too. It’s natural for employees to proudly identify with great corporations that employ them, fund cultural events in their cities, and contribute the bulk of the taxes that support municipal services. Companies are made up of people and they have hearts and souls, which is reflected in their culture and history. The story of LTV Steel (the remnants of Jones & Laughlin Steel, Youngstown Steel, and Republic Steel) reflects the rise, decline, and fall of American industry on a different level. It is a personal level. It is a different perspective that colors the view of de-industrialization. The demise of a company is often mourned by employees and community.

There were few tears shed for LTV Steel, but its heart was the old Jones & Laughlin Steel that even predated Carnegie in Pittsburgh. J&L Pittsburgh Works (Southside) was the only steel mill inside the city limits of Pittsburgh. United States Steel formed a ring around Pittsburgh. Furthermore, Jones & Laughlin predated the Carnegie organization by more than 25 years. Jones & Laughlin’s iconic Eliza Furnaces were the only blast furnaces one saw when traveling the expressways through the city.

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