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Old 11-14-2011, 07:29 AM
 
1,021 posts, read 794,477 times
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As a college student in the late 60's, I worked two summers in a steel mill, specifically the still existing USS Irvin Works in West Mifflin.
A very unappealing alternative was the Coke Works, at USS Clairton Works, a real hell-hole. Back then, the emissions from the Coke Works was so bad, that it literally ate the paint off of cars in the parking lot. Most everyone who worked there drove a junker to work, so that the damage wasn't a concern.
The Clairton Works has long been shut down, but the Coke Works are still running strong!
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:03 AM
 
482 posts, read 459,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornet67 View Post
As a college student in the late 60's, I worked two summers in a steel mill, specifically the still existing USS Irvin Works in West Mifflin.
A very unappealing alternative was the Coke Works, at USS Clairton Works, a real hell-hole. Back then, the emissions from the Coke Works was so bad, that it literally ate the paint off of cars in the parking lot. Most everyone who worked there drove a junker to work, so that the damage wasn't a concern.
The Clairton Works has long been shut down, but the Coke Works are still running strong!

I interviewed there for a management associate position in 2008. I don't mind getting dirty, but that place just seems bad for your health after a while. Maybe if their new coke batteries ever get built, it won't be as bad.

Does anyone have an old aerial shot or map of Pittsburgh and its surrounding regions showing where all the plants used to be? I think it would be interesting to see where everything used to be, and what is there now.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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The Rivers of Steel national Heritage website has an interactive map broken down by eras that's pretty good. It includes steel mills and other steel fabricating plants. For example, you can click on the 1920 - 1950 tab to see which mills were running in that time period. I'm surpised that there are still so many operating today - not just the mills, but the other steel-related companies as well. Still quite a large heavy metals presence here.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geeo View Post
The Rivers of Steel national Heritage website has an interactive map broken down by eras that's pretty good. It includes steel mills and other steel fabricating plants. For example, you can click on the 1920 - 1950 tab to see which mills were running in that time period. I'm surpised that there are still so many operating today - not just the mills, but the other steel-related companies as well. Still quite a large heavy metals presence here.
The oldest mill of them all, USS Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock, which I believe dates from the 1880's, is still going strong. The "newest", USS Irvin Works in West Mifflin, built in the 1930's, is still up and running as well.
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Old 11-14-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornet67 View Post
The oldest mill of them all, USS Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock, which I believe dates from the 1880's, is still going strong. The "newest", USS Irvin Works in West Mifflin, built in the 1930's, is still up and running as well.
1875 was when ET began operating.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:02 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornet67 View Post
Back then, the emissions from the Coke Works was so bad, that it literally ate the paint off of cars in the parking lot.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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I've seen the pictures from the 50s where it would get dark downtown before noon. Since I was born in the 60s, I never experienced air pollution like that since I rarely went downtown as a child. But I never noticed the air quality being bad when I did go downtown in the 70s and 80s. I did come home feeling like I was dirty though. I always needed to hop right into the shower. I just felt so gross. So Pittsburgh was definitely working on improving the pollution prior to the collapse of the steel industry. They had eliminated most of the visible pollution but there was still an invisible grit in the air in the 70s.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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I wonder if there will be a noticeable decrease in the percentage of cancer occurrences as the generations that were exposed to that soot become less and less of a percentage of the city population?
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Athens, GA (via Pittsburgh, PA)
9,562 posts, read 8,084,343 times
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Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
I wonder if there will be a noticeable decrease in the percentage of cancer occurrences as the generations that were exposed to that soot become less and less of a percentage of the city population?
I don't know if it'll go down that much. Remember, Pittsburgh gets all the crap emitted from Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis. Being on the windward side of the mountains traps the stuff and rains it out.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
4,192 posts, read 2,653,878 times
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The pollution in the rivers was also very heavy back in the 60's and 70's.

The Allegheny was considerably cleaner by the 60's, as the Lucy, Eliza, and Isabella furnaces were long gone already.

At the point, you could see a line between the river waters from the 2 rivers.

Back then, you didn't have the recreational boating on the 3 rivers.

Not only the filth, but the heavy barge traffic made it pretty iffy.
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