The beginning of the 20th century marked the high point of steel production throughout the world. Industrial cities like Pittsburgh, PA grew at a rapid pace. Steel mills were catalysts, bringing people, jobs, and new life to new towns. Throughout Pittsburgh, PA there were over ten steel mills operating simultaneously, filling the sky with smog and soot. The Carrie Furnaces were part of the larger Homestead Works owned by Andrew Carnegie. After a devastating labor conflict, Carnegie sold Homestead Works; this lead to the creation of U.S Steel, the first billion dollar corporation. Carrie Furnaces 6 & 7 were added to increase the production process, allowing the industrial site to feed the worlds endless desire for steel. For the Empire State Building, and for the Panama Canal, for those built works that defined the United States at home and abroad. Producing about ten thousand tons of pig iron a day, Carrie Furnaces 6 & 7 were once part of the largest steel mills in the world.
A catalyst causes a change to occur to the current state of a place. Pittsburgh is remembered as a desolate place where the steel industry was once a major form of income. The Carrie Furnaces were a catalyst of Monongahela River Valley, bringing the production of steel to its prime. In order to create an improved understanding of our industrial past a catalyst must be applied to the only remaining blast furnaces predating WWII. By establishing a direct physical experience within the Carrie Furnaces, a catalyst will be created for the past, present, and future of Pittsburgh.
Due to the expansive growth of steel, the city was able to emerge as a growing hub for new arts, sciences, and technologies. In order to celebrate the historical past of steel and its great impact upon the world, the Museum of Steel, Pittsburgh, will guide visitors through the Carrie Furnaces. By following the circulation of the iron ore through the Furnaces, visitors will be able to experience how steel shaped the heritage of Pittsburgh. The production of steel brought an abundance of life to the “Steel City”, and it will bring people back to “The ‘Burgh” again!