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COLLECTION Identifier: Vis 31

United States Steel Corporation photographs


A large collection of black and white gelatin silver prints depicting the United States Steel Corporation's steel plants, works, personnel, machinery, mining operations, buildings, warehouses and production of the numerous products manufactured by the company, circa 1940-1960.


  • 1940-1960

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact for more information.


25 linear feet (28 volumes, 8 boxes)

The photograph collection contains black and white gelatin silver prints of the United States Steel Corporation were taken between circa 1940 and 1960 by professional photographers hired by US Steel. The collection includes twenty-eight photograph albums and 8 boxes of loose photographs sleeved in Mylar. All photographs are 8 x 10 inches and were taken circa 1940-1960. The photographs depict machines and machinery, blast furnaces, company buildings and warehouses and work being conducted at the various US Steel works and plants and subsidiary companies owned by US Steel.

Most of the US Steel photographs are housed in photograph albums organized by specific works or mill location (i.e. Homestead Works, Pennsylvania or South Works, Chicago). The photographs are organized how they appear in the albums. There was no distinct organization to the collection so the processor alphabetized the photograph albums. On the back of each photograph is detailed information about the image including the location, description, unique identifier number, and photographer. To make the finding aid more user friendly, only the first sentence of the description has been added to the finding aid. All series titles are actual titles transcribed from the photograph album. Photograph groupings housed in boxes have titles created by the processor.

Historical Note:

The United States Steel Corporation was founded in 1901 by J. Pierpont Morgan and Elbert H. Gary through a merger of the three major steel manufacturers of the time; Andrew Carnegie's Carnegie Steel Company, Elbert H. Gary's Federal Steel Company and William Henry Moore's National Steel Company. Morgan believed that steel was the future and paid handsomely to acquire the Carnegie Steel Company and consolidate it with other national steel companies to form one large conglomerate. The birth of new cities in the American West after the turn of the century and the rise of the automobile would assure that steel would play an integral role in America's growth as numerous structures and products contained the material including buildings and bridges. The US Steel Corporation played a prominent role in the ramp up to World War I and World War II by supplying the US Army with armament, tanks, planes and numerous other products manufactured specifically for the War effort. With the rise of consumerism in America, US Steel provided materials for a vast amount of products from razor blades, children's toys, automobiles and appliances to railroad ties, chain link fences, telephone and telegraph wires, concrete roads and highways and prefabricated homes. The products US Steel manufactured permeated throughout the entire fabric of life in the United States affecting many different and diverse industries. The company employed hundreds of thousands of people, more during the War effort.

The US Steel Corporation and its many subsidiaries are responsible for the design and construction of many important buildings, bridges and structures in the United States and internationally as well as the fabrication of concrete roads, railroad ties, locomotive wheels, steel pipes and tubes, copper wires, wire products and vehicles and armament for the United States Army and Navy.

Physical Location



Purchase, 2013

Related Materials:

For additional United Steel Corporation photographs see the Industrial Life Photograph Collection and the Baker family papers.

Processing Information

Processed: July 2014

By: Benjamin Johnson

United States Steel Corporation. United States Steel Corporation Photographs, circa 1940-1960: An inventory
Baker Library
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections and Archives, Harvard Business School Repository

Baker Library Special Collections and Archives holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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