USA Steel

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USA Steel

USA Steel

The Northeastern Region: Pittsburgh is situated in the heart of the North Appalachian coalfields. It attracts iron ore from fairly long distances. More than 80 per cent of the U.S. iron-ore is raised from the mines in the states of Minnesota and Michigan. From these mines iron-ore travels about eleven hundred miles eastwards to reach the great steel centres in the Pittsburgh district. Iron-ore moves to coal. This movement of ore to Pittsburgh has led to the growth of many other steel centres on or about its route.

1. Pittsburgh District: The city of Pittsburgh (Penn) has developed at the junction of the rivers Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela. With the emergence of iron and steel industry the city became crowded with steel plants and factories. Today Pittsburgh with its suburbs has a steel capacity of 18,000,000 tons.

The reasons for the origin and growth of iron and steel industry in this area are as follows:
  • (a) Local coal from the North Appalachian coal fields, more particularly, the excellent coking coal of the nearby Connellsville district has permitted large-scale development of steel industry here. Coal is easily carried and distributed by water routes provided by the rivers Monongahela and Ohio.
  • (b) The industry originally started with local supplies of iron-ore, but soon the local ore failed to satisfy the increasing demand and it was replaced by the huge ore supplies from the Mesabi Range of the Lake Superior district. Streams of ore-vessels float down the Lake Superior eastwards to this area and these carriers on their return journey carry coal to be delivered at various steel centres on the Great Lake shores. These cross movements reduce freight charges both for iron-ore and coal.

  • (c) There are abundant local supplies of limestone for flux.
  • (d) Confluence of the rivers Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio simplified the transportation problem of bulky and heavy materials like coal and iron in these areas. The water transportation has been largely supplemented by a net-work of railway connections with different parts of the country. Thus the area has easy access to both the eastern and west-interior industrial markets.

    This century has witnessed an important migration of the iron and steel industry to the southern shores of the Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. But even now Pittsburgh and other centres around it produce 36 per cent of the nation's steel.

    2. The Lake Shore Centres: These centres have developed mostly due to the movements of iron-ore and coal between the Lake Superior district and Pittsburgh area.

  • (a) On the Lake Eire. Steel centres have developed at Buffalo, Cleveland and other lake ports. Here Pennsylvanian coal meets Lake Superior's ore at the point of unloading. On the flat shore of the Lake numerous sites are available for steel plants.

    Limestone is available near-by and the lake furnishes the water required. These centres get special advantages for production of steel.

    Detroit with it suburbs lying between the Lakes Huron and Eire is also a very important steel producer in the Lake Region with similar advantages in respect of raw-materials and market.

  • (b) On the Lake Michigan Mother similar group of steel towns has developed on the southern end of the Lake Michigan. The huge steel mills of Chicago and Gary have a combined capacity of 27,000,000 tons. These centres get their power and coal from Illinois coal fields, coking coal from Pennsylvania and iron-ore from the Lake Superior mines.
  • (c) On Lake Superior Steel manufacturing has developed on the port of Duluth. Coal is brought here as return cargoes of the ore-vessels. These water-front sites get iron-ore and coal at remarkably low transportation coats. From these centres finished steel products are distributed very quickly over a dense net-work of rail-roads that serve a large and productive hinterland. This region keenly rivals Pittsburgh district producing 34 percent of country's steel output. The recent completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway Canal has opened new possibilities to the Great Lake's steel centres. They will get an easier access to foreign ores and foreign markets.

    Next: USA Steel 2

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