Accidents at The Point: 1990 Explosion

on August 9, 2021 Bethlehem Steel, Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project, Contemporary Work Issues, In the Community, Industrial Heritage, Stories and Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , with 0 comments
Black and white photo of blast furnace L, a triangular shaped blast furnace. Blast furnace “L”, or “Big L”, in 1978 after it was finished and ready for work.

By Clair Volkening The Explosion In a previous post, I recounted the story of an explosion at Sparrows Point in 1891 which killed four steelworkers. That explosion was one of countless accidents over the mill’s history that injured or killed steelworkers. Now, we move one-hundred years into the future, to 1990, to tell the story […]

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Accidents At the Point: 1891 Explosion

on July 15, 2021 Bethlehem Steel, Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project, Industrial Heritage, Stories and Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , with 0 comments
A black and white photo of blast furnace "B" from 1890 “Blast Furnace ‘B’ ready for Operation.” The first blast furnace at the Point was constructed in 1890.

By Clair Volkening On Sunday, December 8, 1891, four men were killed and five suffered injuries after an explosion in blast furnace B at Sparrows Point. The night before the explosion, workers had begun “blowing out,” or shutting down, the furnace so that repairs could be made to the firebrick walls and the furnace pipes […]

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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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“The Millwright’s Poison Pillow”

on April 21, 2021 Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project, Industrial Heritage, Stories and Tags: , , , , with 0 comments
A black and white photograph shows a young woman sitting on a bar counter next to a young man in a suit. Mildred and Mario Clementoni on their honeymoon. Photo courtesy of Donna Clementoni.

By Donna Clementoni Editor’s Note: Donna Clementoni composed this poem about her father-in-law, Mario Clementoni, Sr. Known as “Motts” in his family, he began working at Bethlehem Steel after World War II and spent his entire career at Sparrows Point. He will turn 95 in June 2021. Near the end of the Patapsco River, around […]

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Upcycling at the Shipyards

on April 14, 2021 Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project, Industrial Heritage, Stories, Uncategorized and Tags: , , , , , , with 0 comments
A vintage photo shows a large container ship with the Key Bridge in the background Maersk Emma arrives at Sparrows Point to begin the conversion process.

By Ken Jones Decades before “upcycling” was in our vernacular, the Bethlehem Steel shipyards were putting it into practice on a grand scale. Beginning in the Baltimore yards in the 1950s, Bethlehem began to offer a conversion service. Conversion extended the life of an outdated vessel by making it larger or changing its purpose. Commercial […]

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Views of Sparrows Point: Early Steelmaking

on December 21, 2020 Bethlehem Steel, Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project, Industrial Heritage, Stories and Tags: , , , , with 0 comments
A sepia tone photograph shows a few industrial buildings surrounded by fields A ‘General View’ of the Sparrows Point mill in 1892

Bob Crandell—whose management career at Beth Steel and its successors at Sparrows Point spanned 40+ years—recently lent the BMI a spectacular 1892 photo album. These photographs show steelmaking operations at Sparrows Point just five years after the land was acquired by the Pennsylvania Steel Company and only one year after the first steel was made […]

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Women of Steel: Rita Hamlet

on December 1, 2020 Bethlehem Steel, Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project, Industrial Heritage, Oral history, Stories, Women of Steel and Tags: , , , , , with 0 comments
A woman with dyed red hair speaks and gestures with her hands. Rita Hamlet pictured in April 2019, courtesy of Bill Barry

Rita Hamlet began working on the ore dock at Bethlehem Steel shortly after the steel industry’s consent decree of 1974 opened more pathways to employment for women and African American workers. At Bethlehem Steel, Rita worked in many different places all while raising her five children. She sat down for an interview with labor historian […]

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Women of Steel: Kathy Garrison

on November 24, 2020 Exhibits, Industrial Heritage, Oral history, Stories, Women of Steel 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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BMI Re-opening July 3

on June 9, 2021 Education, Industrial Heritage with 0 comments

Event activities and times are listed below:  

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Members-only Reopening

on June 2, 2021 Education, Industrial Heritage with 0 comments

Event activities and times are listed below:  

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