Steel Industry cont.



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Grand Crossing Tack / Republic Steel / LTV Steel

Republic Steel began as an outgrowth of the Grand Crossing Tack Company, and was originally located in 1876 at 79th and Stony Island Avenue in an area known as Grand Crossing. The plant was relocated to a site at 118th Street and the Calumet River. This was were the first unit of two 50 ton open furnaces and a 35 inch blooming mill were started. In 1936, a new wire mill was added to the plant and at the start of War World II, a completely integrated electric furnace, coke ovens, blooming and rolling mills were built on the plant site for the government under the government orders. The company purchased the operation from the Defense Department. Employment at Republic peaked at 6,335 in 1970 and the plant operated 24 hours a day. 

Republic Steel at Its Peak

In 1977, two 225 ton QBOP (Quelle Basic Oxygen Process) furnaces replaced four WWII vintage open hearths. During the 1980's, the Chicago District Plant was the third largest plant of Republic's six districts. In 1984, Republic Steel was merged with J & L Steel to form LTV Steel, a wholly owned subsidiary of the LTV Corporation, a Dallas based conglomerate which is also involved in energy, aerospace, and defense. 

Pressed Steel Hegewisch

United States Rolling Stock Company was founded in 1883 by A. Hegewisch.  When he became president, in 1882, of the United States Rolling Stock Company, he bought 100 acres to build this company and later he bought 1500 acres, north and northeast of the company, so he could sell lots for houses to the employees that would work for him.  The purpose of the United States Rolling Stock Company was to build railroad cars. In 1912 the company changed its name to Western Steel Car & Foundry, which made electric steel, grey iron, and malleable iron. 

Western Steel

Finally, the company changed its name to Pressed Steel Car Company. At the outbreak of WWI, in 1914, industry needed to provide materials to improve transportation. Pressed Steel had to produce equipment for rail lines within war zones. In 1940, during WWII, Pressed Steel started to produce large quantities of M 4 armored tanks and allied war materials for the war effort. Also, from 1942 to 1945, many women began to work in the plant. Pressed Steel Car Company received an award for their excellent job in producing tanks on September, 1942. In 1956, Pressed Steel was bought by U.S. Steel after it went out of business and closed. U.S. Steel used the property as a supply warehouse and the site currently is occupied by a number of small businesses.  (Articles by Elizabeth R. and Sandra R.)