U.S. Steel South Works opened in 1882. This company began operations as the North Chicago Railway Mill Company. The above picture of the factory depicts black smoke pouring out of the mill. This was not considered to be a negative thing. Rather, it was a sign of prosperity and jobs. Pollution had not yet become a major issue. It was renamed the North Chicago Rolling Mill Company and later had grown into the Illinois Steel Company. It was sold to the Carnegie Illinois Steel Company and finally became known as U.S. Steel South Works. This company was located along Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Calumet River. It was a major factor in the development of the communities located nearby. It brought thousands of families to the area and employed thousands of people from different backgrounds and different ethnic groups. The mill once employed close to 20,000 people.
U.S. Steel South Works was at one time one of the cleanest and
modern steel mills in the country. The plant was permanently shut down
on April 10, 1992. The plant was closed partly because of the
of the economy, but the main reason was that U.S . Steel South Works
outlived its time and had not kept pace with new technologies in the
Iroquois Iron and Steel
Iroquois Steel opened in 1891. It was located at 95th Street and the Calumet River. Rogers Brown was the owner. In 1916, the Schlessinger Company from Milwaukee acquired the property and it was later formed into the Steel and Tube Company of America. In 1923, the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company took over the plant which was located along the E.J.&E. railroad. They added new equipment. Three blast furnaces with an annual capacity of 650,000 tons of pig iron kept 800 employees busy. In 1928 a coke plant was erected. 70 coke ovens, which had a coal carbonizing capacity of 800,000 tons yearly, consumed boatloads of coal brought in during the open lake season. Millions of gallons of water were pumped daily for use in boilers and condensers, also for cooling purposes around furnaces. The company shipped pig iron. The Iroquois Steel plant later developed into the Youngstown Street and Tube Company