Project Update – Sept. 2021

on September 14, 2021 Behind the Scenes, Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project, Exhibits, Exhibits, Updates and Tags: , , , , , , , with 0 comments
Parts of an exhibition taking shape: a mannequin wearing a fire-resistant silver coat and hard had, a ladder, work helmets, and other signage

By Anita Kassof, Beth Maloney, and Auni Gelles Fall 2021 marks three years since the Baltimore Museum of Industry began our Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project, a multiyear project to document and tell the story of the Bethlehem Steel mill at Sparrows Point—once the largest steel plant in the world. We’re sharing a behind-the-scenes update on […]

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Memories of a “Looper”: Bob Casey, Combustion Engineer

on September 9, 2021 Behind the Scenes, Stories, Updates and Tags: , , , , , with 0 comments
A black and white photo shows a group of young engineers wearing slacks and button-up shirts, standing on steps Bethlehem Steel’s 1968 “Loop” class. Bob Casey is in the front row, fourth from the left.

Compiled by Deb Weiner Bob Casey had a career in steelmaking before leaving Sparrows Point to become a museum curator. Starting with a stint as an intern here at the BMI, he eventually retired as Curator of Transportation at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. Recently he donated four items from his time at […]

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SECNAV visits Sparrow Point Shipyard

on May 6, 2021 Behind the Scenes, Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project, Industrial Heritage, Stories and Tags: , , , , , , , with 0 comments
A black and white photo from 1982 shows a woman meeting with two shipyard workers on an exterior staircase Congresswoman Beverly Byron engages in conversation with shipyard workers.

by Ken Jones In the early 1980s the U.S. shipbuilding industry was in a slump. Construction of new merchant ships was steadily declining. According to the American Council on Shipbuilding, in 1975 the industry produced 75 commercial ships, in 1979 it produced 22, and by 1985 it produced only five—a staggering 75% decrease in production […]

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Women of Steel, Reimagined

on October 2, 2020 Behind the Scenes, Exhibits, Women of Steel 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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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 Bethlehem Baltimore Shipyards: Varied Origins, Histories, and Missions

on March 30, 2020 Behind the Scenes, Stories and Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , with 0 comments
The Liberty Ship S. S. Charles Carroll being released from way #2 at Bethlehem Steel Fairfield Shipyard during World War II.

by Ken Jones Being a mid-century born native Baltimorean I was always well aware of “The Point.” I had an uncle that worked there, and a neighbor or two as well. As a kid I knew that they worked there because of the orange dust on their cars or because they had more vacation days […]

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Museums + Contemporary Issues

on October 10, 2019 Behind the Scenes, Updates and Tags: , , , , , , , with 0 comments
“The Big Graph.” Photo courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary.

On September 9th, 18 staff members from the Baltimore Museum of Industry boarded a bus for Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. We took the day away from our desks to experience an historic site together so that we could learn from colleagues, see some inspiring museum exhibitions, and have time to reflect on what we […]

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