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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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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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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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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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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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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A Day in the Life: Working the Ovens

on February 6, 2020 Oral history, Stories and Tags: , , , , , , , , , , with 0 comments
The ‘A’ Coke Oven Battery at Sparrows Point, c. 1982, from the BMI’s Bethlehem Steel Collection.

by Joseph Abel “You had to dance with the fire a little bit.” In our last post, Deb Weiner recalled highlights from her interview with Roy Hoover, a longtime crane operator in the Bethlehem Steel shipyards. This week, we get a view from the ground with the reminiscences of Gordon Davis, a jack-of-all-trades who worked […]

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A Day in the Life: The View from the Top

on January 2, 2020 Oral history, Stories and Tags: , , , , , with 0 comments
Veteran crane operator Roy Hoover in front of the BMI’s historic shipyard crane

by Deb Weiner Editor’s Note: Museum staff were saddened to learn of Roy Hoover’s passing in September 2020. We’re grateful to Roy for sharing insights from his career and ensuring these memories are preserved for future generations.   “Swaying in the wind, you get used to it.” We recently started recording oral histories of people who […]

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Building a Bridge of Ships: Fairfield Shipyard

on September 17, 2019 Stories and Tags: , , , , , , , , with 0 comments
These 1943 photos by Arthur Siegel show workers at Bethlehem-Fairfield. All images are from the Library of Congress.

by Joseph Abel Shortly after noon on September 7, 1942, some 20,000 workers and guests gathered alongside Way 12 at Bethlehem Steel’s Fairfield shipyard to witness an ancient ceremony. Following speeches by several dignitaries, Mrs. Annie Green, wife of Industrial Union of Marine & Shipbuilding Workers of America president John Green, smashed a bottle of […]

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