The NRM and Locomotion to introduce a two-year moratorium on loans
Cleveland, OH: Huron Cement Plants and E. M. Ford
Milwaukee, WI: UP/C&NW Butler Yard
Hancock, WV: B&O Hancock/HO Tower
FreightWaves Classics/Fallen Flags: Tennessee Central Railway was “The Nashville Route”
Bethlehem, NJ: CNJ Roundhouse and Railyards
Minneapolis, MN: Milwaukee South Town Yard
Bethlehem, PA: Bethlehem Steel Works and National Museum of Industrial History
Springfield, OH: Cold Springs Tower: Big Four vs. P&E vs. Erie
Ohio City, OH
Ohio Steel started in Youngstown, OH. It built additional rolling mills in McDonald, OH.
John Groves posted seven photos with the commenthotograph 1: panorama of Ohio Works 1905 (R.W Johnson Studios, public domain).Photograph 2: sad picture of the four BFs being demolished in April 1983 (The Vindicator Printing Company).Photographs 3 to 7: The McDonald Steel Corp. mill building, the 14" shape bar mill in operation and examples of special bar shapes (from the McDonald Steel website - https://mcdonaldsteel.com).This new topic was triggered by a post a few days ago about the closure of the famous Warren plant in the Youngstown district. The extensive comments included discussion on the history of the U S. Steel Ohio and McDonald plants in Youngstown, and the ongoing success of McDonald Steel Corp. which resurrected two of the McDonald plant's very old bar mills. So it seemed more appropriate to continue that discussion here in this new topic.The Ohio Works was originally established in 1893-94 by The Ohio Steel Company. Its Bessemer plant (2 x 10t converters) began making steel in 1895, feeding bloom, billet and rail mills. The plant was merged into National Steel Company, who added the first three blast furnaces in 1900 and 1901, just before the company was merged into the newly formed U S. Steel Corporation.A fourth blast furnace was added in 1904 and two more in 1909. An open hearth shop was added in 1908 (12 OH x 50t), feeding a new bloom mill and ten small bar and hoop mills. The final 3 OHs x 50t were added in 1916. In 1918, the McDonald mills were established 7 miles north of the main plant, with four new bar and hoop mills, with two more band and hoop mills in 1920. By 1935 there were a total of 11 bar, hoop and narrow strip mills operating at the McDonald Works with a capacity of around 0.90 Mtpa. In that year U.S. Steel added a fully continuous 43-inch hot strip mill to the McDonald Works (initial capacity 0.30 Mtpa).By 1935 the Ohio Works was still operating six blast furnaces, the original 1895 2 x 10t Bessemer shop (with capacity expanded from 0.65 Mtpa to 0.70 Mtpa) and the 15-furnace OH shop (with furnace size stretched to 65t and capacity boosted from 0.525 Mtpa to 1.000 Mtpa).By 1945 pressures of wartime demand had stretched the capacity of the McDonald 43-inch hot strip mill to 0.84 Mtpa and the 11 bar, hoop and narrow strip mills to 1.38 Mtpa. To provide the extra feed, the six BFs capacity was stretched by 22% to 1.84 Mtpa, with the Bessemer heat size expanded to 12t and annual capacity to 0.78 Mtpa. The OH furnaces heat size was expanded to 135t and capacity boosted to 1.56 Mtpa.Throughout the post-war decades, the Youngstown District mills were starved of investment in all major facilities. The only new production unit was a 1.7 Mtpa sinter plant installed in 1958. Two of the six BFs were closed (No.6 in 1958 and No.1 in the early 1960s). The original Bessemer plant continued on the books until the early 1960s, with capacity downgraded to 0.55Mtpa. The OH shop had the 15 furnaces stretched to 165t each with a capacity of 2.2 Mtpa in 1960. By the mid1970s the open hearth shop was six decades old but it had been fitted with electrostatic precipitators and was using oxygen lances, resulting in the fastest OH heat times in the Corporation.The combined capacity of the remaining nine old bar, hoop and narrow strip mills was 1.4 Mtpa, with the 43-inch HSM peaking at 1.2 Mtpa. The 43" HSM was fitted with an effective automatic gauge control system in the mid-1960s.The two primary rolling mills (built 1894 and 1909) had a rated capacity of 2.2 Mtpa in 1960, but by the mid-1970s declining soaking pit capacity limited the primary rolling capacity to 1.8 Mtpa. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Youngstown District mills were operated at much lower utilisation than most other U.S. Steel mills. Raw material transport costs were higher, the entire plant was obsolete (BF and steelmaking 1895 to 1918, bar and narrow strip mills 1918 to 1931, 43-inch HSM 1935) and the mandatory costs of urgent pollution control equipment were unsustainable.Finally in 1979 U.S. Steel announced the closure of the entire Ohio and McDonald plants. I included the sad photograph of all four BFs being demolished in April 1982. If you can stand watching it, here is a YouTube video of the demolition.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgJm3g-JjRcBut it is not all bad news. At the time of the closure, Dave Houck the entrepreneurial superintendent of the McDonald 14-inch shape bar mill was convinced that the 14- and 8-inch bar mills could be operated profitably. He prepared a proposal for U.S. Steel HQ to invest in an electric furnace and billet caster to turn the two McDonald bar mills into a special bar mini mill. The HQ rejected this idea.He then attracted venture capital, established McDonald Steel Corp. in 1980, leased the mills from U.S. Steel and in 1981 restarted the 14-inch mill, with the 8-inch mill following by 1984. Now, 40 years later, the 14-inch mill is still operating profitably, with the 8-inch mill still operating intermittently.The 14-inch 11-stand cross-country bar mill was built at the McDonald mills in 1926. In 1999 it's annual rolling capacity was rated at 120,000 tpa.The 8-inch mill was probably built in 1918. It is an 11-stand Belgian-style looping light section mill, rated at 30,000 tpa.So the 14-inch mill was already 55 years old when McDonald Steel recommissioned it, and it is now 95 years old! The 8-inch mill is now 103 years old!
Here are some references for the good news about this venture. https://www.inc.com/magazine/19841101/9723.htmlhttps://mcdonaldsteel.com/hot-rolled-steel/https://mcdonaldsteel.com/company-history/https://m.facebook.com/mcdonaldsteelcorp/(Video of 14" mill in operation)John Groves, November 2021
This article first appeared on towns-and-nature.blogspot.com
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.