The History of the Modern Steel Industry

Andrew Carnegie circa 1913. Image Source: Wikipedia.

Steel is our business.  Norsteel is your Number One source for pre-engineered, quality steel buildings, with an emphasis on value, versatility and speed.   It’s no surprise that we understand steel inside and out!  Here’s a short history on the North American modern steel industry.

One of the central figures in the modernization of the steel industry was Andrew Carnegie, an entrepreneurial man who pushed for a cheap and efficient means for producing steel.  His innovative approach put a focus on mass production, which helped regulate the price of steel and make it a more readily available and viable building material.

By 1889, the Carnegie Steel Company was responsible for more of the output of steel in the U.S.  Carnegie Steel was the largest manufacturer of pig iron and steel rails in the world and had a capacity to produce about 2,000 tonnes of pig metal per day.

The United States was the largest producer of steel and the lowest cost producer in the world by 1900.  Output and production had tripled since the 1890s – thanks to innovation and technology that encourages faster and more efficient investments into new production plants.  Demand fell somewhat during a recession at the turn of the century, in and around the time that Carnegie began to contemplate retirement.

In 1901, the Carnegie Steel Company was bought out by John Pierpont Morgan, a prominent banker and business strategist.  The buyout was the largest industrial take over in U.S. history.  Morgan formed the United States Steel Corporation (now more commonly known as U.S. steel) which became the first corporation in the world with a market value of over $1 billion.

Today, U.S. Steel is an integrated steel producer with operations in the United States, Canada and Central Europe and is the world’s tenth largest steel producer.  U.S. Steel is currently the largest domestically-owned integrated steel producer in the United States, although it doesn’t produce much more steel per day than it did in back in 1902.

Thanks to Andrew Carnegie’s innovative approach to steel production, we can now produce and ship steel efficiently and at a low cost.  Talk to us to learn about all the great things we can help you create with this versatile building material.


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