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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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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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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