Thursday, August 30, 2018

History of Bethlehem Steel

In the mid 1880s the United States of America was not a naval power. After the cessation of the Civil War, ships were allowed to rot as the national focus turned to Westward expansion. The Navy sought to remedy this situation by awarding contracts for heavy armor steel plate and large caliber guns. Bethlehem was awarded a contract and this led to the development of a complex to manufacture this equipment.

The Bethlehem Steel Corporation was incorporated in New Jersey on December 10, 1904, to effect the reorganization of the United States Shipbuilding Company of 1902.

Initially, the Bethlehem Steel Plant was a producer of rails for the expanding railroad industry. Eventually, it became one of the leading suppliers of steel to the construction industry. The Bethlehem Steel Corporation was the second leading steel producer in the United States between 1916 and 1984. For a time it was also the largest shipbuilding firm in the world.

It provided steel for the army during both World Wars and it was also responsible for the construction of several skyscrapers located in New York City during the 1940s.

At the turn of the century, under the direction of Charles M. Schwab (1862-1939) and Eugene Grace (1876-1960), Bethlehem Steel Corporation became the second largest American steel company; combined with its other venture, Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., it became a leading twentieth century American business.

In January 2003 Wilbur Ross, head of The International Steel Group, proposed a $1.5 billion acquisition of Bethlehem Steel and the Bethlehem board approved the sale on 8 February 2003.
History of Bethlehem Steel
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