The Steel Mill

About Edgar Thompson Works

Braddock was also the site of Andrew Carnegie’s first steel mill, which was built in 1875 and still operates today,The mill is located on the banks of the Monongahela River east of Pittsburgh. On July 9, 1755, in the Battle of the Monogahela, French and Indian forces from Fort Duquesne defeated the expedition of British General Edward Braddock, who was mortally wounded in the fighting. Braddock’s Field also was the site of a rally of rebellious militiamen and farmers during the Whiskey Rebellion, prior to a massive march on the town of Pittsburgh on August 1, 1794. The site on the banks of the Monongahela provides cost-effective river transportation of coke, iron and finished steel products. On January 1, 1873, ground work began on the Edgar Thomson Steel Works. On August 22, 1875, the Edgar Thomson Steel Works’ hulking Bessemer converter produced its first heat of liquid steel, destined to become 2,000 steel rails for the Pennsylvania Railroad. The mill was capable of producing 225 tons of steel rails per day.

Today, two blast furnaces (Furnaces No. 1 and No. 3) continue in operation at the Edgar Thomson Steel Works, which remains part of U.S. Steel. In 2005, the mill produced 2.8 million tons of steel, equal to 28% of U.S. Steel’s domestic production. The mill employs about 900 persons, some of whom belong to the second or third generations of their families to work in the mill. Among improvements to its physical plant is a $250 million continuous caster, which converts liquid steel directly into slabs, installed in 1992. In April 1995, the mill was designated a historic landmark by ASM International, a society that honors works of structural engineering. Other structures honored by the society are the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower.