Anyone ever experience the blast furnace at the Bethlehem Steel?
Notice in the video, what little protection men wore?
While I never worked the blast furnace, my brother used to for a short while. He took part in the tapping of it. He hated it. However during the best month he ever had, he received a $1,000 bonus one month. Even though he wore an asbestos-like suit he still had burn marks from time to time. HOT AS HELL ITSELF!
Later my brother considered it to be both a blessing and relief when he was able to transfer down to the coke fields in Hellertown. It paid less, but the job conditions better suited him.
A PBNE switcher takes slag cars to the slag dump where they are dumped by a crane
Interesting story is if the guys took a cup of water and dumped it into a ingot before steel was pouring into it.. that water would explode! So they had to make sure ingot cars were completely dry after a rain.
As for my days at shop #413 (alloy roller mills & soaking pit) at the steel.. I only lasted 30 days and I quit. I'm such a PUSSY !!
* Bethlehem Steel, with its fleet of 26 ships, was the Panama Canal's second-best customer in 1940, having paid more than $1 million in tolls.
* The company was employing more than 100,000 and earning profits of more than $100 million annually
* The company had a police force larger than the city of Bethlehem's.
* Up until the 1940s wages and working conditions in the plant had been oppressive. When workers walked out, the company would call in billy-club-swinging mounted state police troopers to quash picketers. There were brutal working hours, bribery and favoritism in the 1930s. Work was six days a week, double shifts and they had no vacations
* During WWII as much as 70% of all airplane cylinder forgings, one-quarter of the armor plate for warships, and one-third of the big cannon forgings for the U.S armed forces were turned out by Bethlehem Steel. The company built nearly one-fifth of the U.S. Navy's two-ocean fleet.