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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Buffalo in Erie County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna

The Industrial Heritage Trail

 

— Part 3: The Purchase of Lackawanna Steel —

 
Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 3, 2015
1. Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna Marker
Inscription.  Lackawanna Steel continued to grow throughout the early 1900s. However, the steel plant fell on considerably hard financial times in 1918 and 1919, coupled with violent worker strikes and demonstrations for better working conditions and benefits. The plant briefly returned to profitability in 1921, but the lack of investment in new technology came to heavily affect the plant's ability to compete with more modern plants, and the company posted large deficits in 1922.

On May 11, 1922, Lackawanna Steel announced it had agreed to be purchased by Bethlehem Steel, in a merger which would create a billion dollar company. The purchase price was $60 million dollars, probably less than half of what the company was worth.

Bethlehem Steel capitalized on their cheap purchase price of the aging plant and invested $40 million dollars to bring the facility up to modern standards, gearing its production to the burgeoning automobile market. As a result of this investment and Bethlehem's considerable industry connections, the plant boomed in production during the 1920s, becoming highly profitable and managing to maintain its operations through the
Southward image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 3, 2015
2. Southward
Marker is on the first tower from the left in this view.
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Great Depression years of the 1930s.

At the outbreak of World War II, the plant was in prime condition to supply steel of all types to American industrial centers. By 1943, the steel plant regained the title of world's largest steel production facility, employing over 20,000 workers on around the clock shifts.

Hamburg Turnpike at Gate 1 of Bethlehem Steel, August 7, 1952, 3:30 P.M. Image Source: Steel Plant Museum of WNY.

Steel Plant Museum of WNY
 
Erected by The Industrial Heritage Committee, Inc.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical date for this entry is May 11, 1922.
 
Location. 42° 50.043′ N, 78° 51.281′ W. Marker is in Buffalo, New York, in Erie County. Marker is on Fuhrmann Boulevard ¼ mile south of Ohio Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Buffalo NY 14203, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna (here, next to this marker); The Lehigh Portland Cement Company (here, next to this marker); The Union Ship Canal
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(here, next to this marker); Improvements in Ship Design (a few steps from this marker); Early Lake Erie Water Craft (a few steps from this marker); The Great Lakes (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Buffalo.
 
Also see . . .  The Steel Plant Museum of Western New York. (Submitted on July 25, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 25, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 235 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 25, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.

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Jul. 24, 2021