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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Shaping Steel

 
 
Shaping Steel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 30, 2021
1. Shaping Steel Marker
Inscription.  The Morgan Mill Gate
Ingots of steel from the Open Hearth moved through different types of milling equipment to be made into various shapes. Some of these ingots were taken to a series of rolling mills that squeezed the ingots into smaller square, rectangular, or round lengths of steel called blooms or billets. These shapes would then be formed into a variety of products including bars, rods, structural shapes, beams, and columns.

The Morgan Billet Mill, installed in 1893, consisted of a series of eight rolls in one straight line, each succeeding one being smaller in the pass to create a finished bar. The steel workers who worked in this mill took great pride in the Todd Steam Engine that ran it. They kept both the mill and the engine room gate, displayed near here shiny and spotless.

Cold Rolled Steel
Jones & Laughlin established itself as an early innovator with the development of the cold rolling process. When the company was founded, one of the first products it made was iron bar. Legend has it that a roller lost control of his tongs and it went between the rolls. Bernard Lauth, one of the company founders,

Three Rivers Heritage Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 30, 2021
2. Three Rivers Heritage Trail
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witnessed the event and noticed the bright appearance of the tongs when they came out. He experimented further, using iron bars. He discovered that not only was the surface of the bars considerably improved, but the mechanical characteristics as well.

However true the legend, this method of cold rolling bars was patented by J&L in 1860. Throughout the ensuing years, J&L put the process to use in the production of items such as automobile, aviation, agricultural, transportation, and machine parts.

(captions)
HP Cylinder Morgan Billet Mill Engine, 1974 Rivers of Steel Archive No. PA-48 Jack Boucher, Photographer
Working the Billet line, 1950 Rivers of Steel Archive Niziol Collection
Cold Finishing of Bars, c. 1944 Rivers of Steel Archive, Men and Women of Wartime Pittsburgh

 
Erected by Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
 
Location. 40° 25.776′ N, 79° 57.918′ W. Marker is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in Allegheny County. Marker is on Three Rivers Heritage Trail 0.3 miles west of Hot Metal Bridge, on the right when traveling west. Not accessible to motorized vehicles. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pittsburgh PA 15203, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking

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distance of this marker. Hub of Activity (within shouting distance of this marker); Making Steel The J&L Way (within shouting distance of this marker); Jones & Laughlin Steel Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Cast Iron Columns (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rivers of Steel (about 400 feet away); Open Hearth Steel (about 500 feet away); The MonCon Railroad (about 600 feet away); Materials Handling (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pittsburgh.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 2, 2021, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 20 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 2, 2021, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Jun. 16, 2021