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Research Notes on Bethlehem Steel Corporation
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Research Notes on Bethlehem Steel Corporation

Accession 2410

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library

PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-02-28T10:44-0500

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Research Notes on Bethlehem Steel Corporation (Accession 2410), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807


Descriptive Summary

Title: Research Notes on Bethlehem Steel Corporation
Dates: 1894-2006, bulk 1963-2003
Accession Number: 2410
Creator: Lovis, John B.
Extent: 0.8 linear feet
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: The records consist of materials collected by John B. Lovis for the writing of his book on the history of the Sparrows Point Plant, plus original Bethlehem Steel documents from his tenure in the Corporate Planning Department.

Historical Note

John B. Lovis

Lovis was born on January 9, 1935 at Rahway, NJ, and grew up in Winchester and Lexington, MA. He graduated from Norwich University in Northfield, VT with a B.S. in Engineering Management in 1956. Immediately after graduation he joined the Bethlehem Steel Corporation and was assigned to the Blast Furnace Department at Sparrows Point, MD. In 1963 he was transferred to Bethlehem, PA to assist in the design and engineering of the company’s new Burns Harbor Plant in Indiana. Over the next thirty-two years, he held various positions in Bethlehem’s Corporate Engineering and Planning Departments. He retired as Director – Strategic Planning in 1995. His book, The Blast Furnaces of Sparrows Point – One Hundred Years of Ironmaking on Chesapeake Bay, was published in 2005.

Sparrows Point Steel Plant

The Sparrows Point Steel Plant, located at the mouth of the Patapsco River below Baltimore, was originally constructed by the Pennsylvania Steel Company in 1887-90. The company had operated a large plant at Steelton, near Harrisburg, Pa., for over twenty years. The Sparrows Point site was chosen so that the new plant could be supplied directly with rich Cuban ore, which otherwise would have had to be hauled inland by rail. The plant was spun off to a Maryland subsidiary, the Maryland Steel Company of Baltimore County, in 1891, and a Marine Department capable of constructing large steel ships was created the same year. In 1916, Charles Schwab’s Bethlehem Steel Corporation purchased the entire Pennsylvania Steel group of companies. By the late 1950s, it was one of the largest steel plants in the world with over 25,000 employees. As a relatively modern facility, Sparrows Point survived the collapse of Bethlehem Steel in the 1990s, albeit in a shrunken and altered form. Ownership passed to the International Steel Group Inc. in 2003 and to Mittal Steel USA Inc. in 2005.


Scope and Content

The records consist of materials collected by John B. Lovis for the writing of his book on the history of the Sparrows Point Plant, plus original Bethlehem Steel documents from his tenure in the Corporate Planning Department. The Sparrows Point items include financial and operating statistics, personnel data, company publications, and originals and photocopies of non-company publications dealing with the history of the plant and town. Bethlehem Steel Corporation documents include operating and inventory plans, two volumes of facility specifications and operating parameters (1980s) for the five integrated steel plants at Bethelehem, Burns Harbor, Johnstown, Sparrows Point and Steelton, and letters from management to employees during the period of decline and bankruptcy, 1974-2003. Of particular note is a file on estimated U.S. steel industry shipments and raw steel capacity by plant and by product (1985).



Arranged alphabetically by subject.


Series Descriptions and Inventory

1 American Iron and Steel Institute, 1980
1 American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1972-1980
1 Bethlehem Steel Corporation: Burns Harbor and Sparrows Point Facilities Specifications and Operating Parameters, 1989
1 Bethlehem Steel Corporation: Chronology, 1857-1968
1 Bethlehem Steel Corporation: Decline & Bankruptcy, 1976-2003
1 Bethlehem Steel Corporation: Operating and Inventory Plans, 1954-1995
1 Bethlehem Steel Corporation: Structural Products Division, Steelton Rail Products and Pipe Division, Bar Rod & Wire Division - Facilities Specifications and Operating Parameters, 1990
1 Industry Shipments - Raw Steel, 1985-1986
1 Sparrows Point Plant: Blast Furnaces, 1894-2001
2 Sparrows Point Plant: Data, 1897-1993
2 Sparrows Point Plant: Descriptions of Facilities, 1938-2005
2 Sparrows Point Plant: History, 1975-1995
2 Sparrows Point Plant: Hot Strip Mill, 1980-1993
2 Sparrows Point Plant: Iron Ore & Coke Supply, 1889-1987
2 Sparrows Point Plant: "Issues & Options for the 1990s", 1992-1994
2 Sparrows Point Plant: Plate Mills - Primary Mills, 1984-1989
2 Sparrows Point Plant: Rod Mill, 1969
2 Sparrows Point Plant: Sheet Mill, 1984-2006
2 Sparrows Point Plant: Steelmaking, 1983-2006
2 Sparrows Point Plant: Telephone Directories, 1983, 1994
2 Tin Plate, 1964
2 Wean United, Inc., 1969