Bethlehem Steel catalog cover

Bethlehem Steel Catalog

The Bethlehem Steel Catalog presents a revolutionary improvement in the realm of structural steel, diminishing expenses while augmenting the use of steel in construction. The innovative Bethlehem Structural Shapes are revealed within it – and have been proven to provide numerous advantages over traditional designs.

About the Bethlehem Steel Catalog and the Plant

Bethlehem Steelworks was a leading steel plant in the United States that stretched for miles and employed over 30,000 workers during its peak. It played a critical role in the growth of America as an industrial power, helping to build a railway network that spanned the continent and providing the foundation upon which the nation’s infrastructure was built. Founded by John F. Fritz in 1857, Bethlehem Ironworks was located along the Lehigh River about 15 miles west of Allentown, Pennsylvania, and exploited several key resources in Eastern Pennsylvania such as iron ore mines and anthracite coal fields. Besides rail ties, Bethlehem Ironworks focused on producing steel using French’s three-high rolling process which ensured superior steel rails than the two high process utilized before that point.

In addition to this breakthrough technology, Fritz also introduced many state-of-the-art European techniques to U.S steel industry including replacing the Bessemer process with a more efficient open heart process. This allowed Bethlehem Steelworks to take advantage of local sources of limestone as well as provide access to Philadelphia and New York City via rail network which further added to their success. Furthermore, they had access to a ready supply of labour from nearby towns and cities which grew significantly due to profits derived from this plant and others like it across Pennsylvania at that time.

The success of Bethlehem Steelworks can be seen in its contribution towards making America into a world power rivalling Europe during second half of 19th century. The ability of American industry to keep up with their European counterparts is largely thanks to plants like these who put America on equal footing with Europe if not surpassing them in some areas due to their advanced technology and processes used at the time.

Although now abandoned and rusting away, Bethlehem Steelworks stands today as an iconic monument of what American industry once was; A symbol for an era where despite great challenges America managed to rise above them all though hard work and innovation eventually paving way for us becoming one of the most powerful nations in world history.