A Day in the Life: Woman of Steel

on November 24, 2020 Exhibits, Industrial Heritage, Oral history, Stories and Tags: , , , , , with 0 comments
A black and white photo shows five women meeting to discuss union issues. Meeting of the Women of Steel, 2005. Left to right: Kathy Garrison, Deb Watnoski, Sharon Pritchard, Kathy Hamilton, Gail Fleming. Courtesy of Kathy Garrison.

Interview by Deb Weiner Kathy Garrison started working at Bethlehem Steel in 1976, not long after a consent decree required the company to stop discriminating against women and minorities. She chaired the Women of Steel group from 2004 to 2012, when the plant shut down. Here are edited excerpts from her recent interview with BSLP […]

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Women of Steel, Reimagined

on October 2, 2020 Behind the Scenes, Exhibits and Tags: , , , with 0 comments
An illustration shows a black metal fence with an exhibit panel and a person reading A rendering of the Women of Steel exhibition by designer Danielle Nekimken

by Claire Mullins and Beth Maloney Towards the end of 2019, cultural institutions across the nation began announcing exhibitions and programs to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. With our Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project—a multi-year initiative to preserve the stories of Baltimore’s steel […]

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Voices of Sparrows Point

on September 8, 2020 Behind the Scenes, Oral history, Stories and Tags: , , , , , , , , , , with 0 comments
A word cloud showing recurring themes from BMI interviews with steelworkers and their families

By Deb Weiner and Auni Gelles Since we launched the Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project in January 2019, BMI staff have sought first-person accounts from individuals who worked at Bethlehem Steel, lived in or around Sparrows Point, or were related to employees. We’ve attended community meetings at Tradepoint Atlantic and around the Dundalk area; held story […]

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Podcast Project in the Works

on August 20, 2020 Behind the Scenes, Updates and Tags: , , , , , , , with 0 comments
Photo courtesy of Aaron Henkin

by Beth Maloney and Auni Gelles How do you tell an enormous and complicated story, make it accessible to as many people as possible (during a global pandemic), respect varying individual experiences and opinions, and show just how important that story is? One answer: Use every tool you have.  In this vein, we are thrilled […]

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A Day in the Life: a Union & Civil Rights Leader

on July 23, 2020 Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project, Oral history, Stories, Updates and Tags: , , , , , , with 0 comments
Eddie Bartee Jr. and Eddie Bartee Sr., photographed by J. M. Giordano. Three generations of Bartees worked at Sparrows Point and became union activists.

The Bethlehem Steel community lost a beloved figure when Eddie Bartee Sr. passed away in March at age 85. The son and nephew of steelworkers, he grew up in the company town of Sparrows Point and followed his father into the mill in 1955. The first African American president of Local 2609, he was a […]

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Sparrows Point Building Basin is Back in Business

on June 10, 2020 Updates and Tags: , , , , with 0 comments
The Titan entering the Sparrows Point dry dock

By Ken Jones In a previous post I shared the story of the Sparrows Point Shipyard. One of the significant features of the yard was the large 1,200’ x 200’ flexible building basin (dry dock) that went into operation in 1971. At the time of its construction it was one of the largest dry docks […]

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Kindergarten in the Company Town

on June 10, 2020 Stories and Tags: , , , , , , , with 0 comments

by Joel Miller “If you want to see all we recommend in the ideal public school, go to Sparrows Point.”   –M. Bates Stephens, Maryland State Schools Superintendent, 1906 [1] A company town might seem an odd place to find innovative public schooling, but Sparrows Point’s history provides exactly that. Before Bethlehem Steel occupied the […]

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Sparrows Point Shipyard: 100 years of shipbuilding

on May 8, 2020 Behind the Scenes, Stories and Tags: , , , , , , , with 0 comments
This c. 1949 aerial photo illustrates the shipyard’s proximity to the steel plant.

By Ken Jones As mentioned in my previous posts on the Baltimore Yards and Fairfield Yard, I have been helping process and catalogue the BMI’s Bethlehem Steel collection. As I do my work, I find myself reading the materials or closely looking at the photos I am processing. I’ve become fascinated by this collection of […]

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Building a Community Collection

on April 20, 2020 Behind the Scenes, Oral history and Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , with 0 comments
The BMI’s Executive Director, Anita Kassof, shared this image of the museum’s Bethlehem Steel Whirley crane that was used at the Fairfield shipyard during WWII to build Liberty and Victory ships: “This was one of the last photos I took of the BMI’s campus before we closed for the coronavirus. I miss seeing the crane on the skyline each morning as I round the bend of Key Highway on my way to work.”

By Beth Maloney and Auni Gelles The Covid-19 pandemic has changed not only the nature of work for so many across our city but also the ways we are connecting, communicating, and staying close to one another. Even though the BMI is closed, we are working remotely and thinking about how to adapt our existing […]

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The Fairfield Yards – Home of the Liberty Fleet

on April 14, 2020 Stories, Updates and Tags: , , , , , , , , , , with 0 comments
The busy Fairfield shipyards pictured during WWII, from the BMI’s collections.

by Ken Jones As mentioned in my previous post I have been processing and cataloging the Museum’s Bethlehem Steel collection. As I did my work, I found myself reading the materials or closely looking at the photos I was processing. I became fascinated by Bethlehem’s collection of shipyards in Baltimore – Sparrows Point, the Baltimore […]

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