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Steel in America: A Photographic Journey

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, June 28, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1CV017
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Materials for this program

Bethlehem Steel power house by photographer Jeremy Blakeslee (National Museum of Industrial History)

Since its first fiery breath during the Civil War, the production of steel on an industrial scale in America has proven unforgettable to those who have experienced it, from working in steel mills to seeing their glow miles away. Over half the world’s steel was produced in American mills during World War II, but the industry peaked in the late 1960s and has seen a steady decline ever since.

Using dramatic imagery from the National Museum of Industrial History and the Historic American Engineering Record, historian Mike Piersa and photographer Jeremy Blakeslee discuss and vividly showcase the growth, evolution, and sometimes death of facilities that were capable of producing millions of tons of steel per year. Learn the history behind who made steel and where, what forces shaped the fate of steel mills and steel towns across the country, where steel is made today, and where it will be made tomorrow.

Piersa is a historian at the National Museum of Industrial History (a Smithsonian Affiliate), and Blakeslee is a professional photographer who has documented American industry coast to coast for a variety of projects, including the Historic American Engineering Record at the Library of Congress.

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