Skip to main content
Notice: The Library is open for research by appointment only, please visit our research services page for more information.

Lukens Steel Company records

Creation: 1798-1993
Accession: 0050


Lukens Steel Company was a medium-sized producer of specialty steel products and one of the top three U.S. producers of steel plate. The Lukens Steel Company records documents all aspects of the business from the early nineteenth century through the 1970s.


  • Creation: 1798-1993



720 Linear Feet

Physical Description

3 microfilm reels; 5,390 photographs

Historical Note

The Lukens Steel Company was incorporated in Pennsylvania on January 17, 1917, as successor to the Lukens Iron & Steel Company of 1890. It was renamed Lukens, Inc., on April 14, 1982, and reincorporated in Delaware on January 28, 1987. Lukens was a medium-sized producer of specialty steel products and one of the top three U.S. producers of steel plate. Lukens was merged into the Bethlehem Steel Corporation on May 29, 1998, and the Coatesville Plant survived the Bethlehem bankruptcy to become part of Mittal Acelor.


I. Corporate records; II. Accounting records; III. Production and labor records; IV. Purchasing and receiving records; V. Sales and shipping records; VI. General correspondence; VII. Executive officer files; VIII. New Orleans office records; IX. Lukens Athletic Association; X. Maps and drawings; XI. Historical miscellany; XII. Records of subsidiary companies; XIII. Photographs

Scope and Content

The Lukens Steel Company records documents all aspects of the company's business from the early nineteenth century through the 1970s.

Order books (1842-1903), sales records (1840-1908), and account books (1798-1917) document financial transactions and list major suppliers and customers. Of particular note is the day book of Rebecca Lukens (1842-1844). Production records include records from the puddling mill (1873-1886) and the open hearth (1892-1907), as well as tonnage books (1891-1918). This material documents the transition from iron to steel production. Payrolls and wage books (1864-1904) show wage payments and the impact of technological change on wages and working conditions.

Corporate records include copies of minutes, board of directors' files, monthly and annual reports, and reports of departments, divisions, and committees. Accounting records include account books (1798-1938), auditors reports, and financial statements. General correspondence (1840-1906) is concerned with orders, sales, managerial and labor problems.

Executive officer files are primarily those of the vice presidents. They describe the evolution of the company from the early 1900s to the early 1970s, including the modernization of physical plant, the development of more bureaucratic management methods, changing markets and product mix, company contributions to World War II, and the recruitment of black and immigrant labor. There are also news releases, clippings and publications from the Public Relations Dept.

The historical miscellany deals primarily with company anniversaries and the Lukens-Huston family. The most important item is an 1825 autobiographical memoir by Rebecca Lukens. There are also anti-Bolshevik editorial cartoons (1919) and a poster regarding the SWOC drive at Bethlehem Steel.

Records of subsidiary and related companies include minutes, maps and reports of the Alleghany Ore & Iron Company. Drawings, blueprints and specifications of the Jacobs-Shupert United States Firebox Company document the use of Lukens steel in locomotive boilers. There are records on companies in which the Hustons had outside investments, such as the Belmont Iron Works of Philadelphia and the Florence Mining & Milling Co. of Marysville, Utah. There are also account books, time books and scattered payrolls for two early iron works unrelated to Lukens: the Laurel Iron Works (1854-1857) and the Triadelphia Iron Works (1847-1851), both owned by the Steele and Worth families.

The photographs include portraits of members of the Lukens and Huston families and over 5,200 views of the Coatesville plant, processes and products. Photographs from the 1880s show the old mill buildings shortly before their replacement and include views of interiors and employees. The bulk of the photographs, including many shots of company employees, were taken for the Public Relations Department, circa 1930 to 1955.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Litigators may not view the collection without approval.

A portion of these records are located in remote storage. Please contact staff 48 hours in advance of research visit at

Use Restrictions

Literary rights retained by depositor.

Related Materials

Lukens Steel Company corporate records (Accession 2314), Manuscripts & Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library

Language of Materials


Additional Description


On Deposit from Lukens, Inc.

Separated Materials

Lukens Steel Company photographs (Accession 1972.360), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Related Names


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Lukens Steel Company records
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
Script of description:

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA