Principles of Economics|
The Bethlehem Steel Corporation (1857-2003), base in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, once was the second largest steel producer in the United States (after Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based US Steel). But following its 2001 bankruptcy, the company was dissolved and the remaining assets sold to International Steel Group in 2003. In2005, ISG merged with Mittal Steel, ending US ownership of the assets of Bethlehem Steel. During its life, Bethlehem Steel was also one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the world and was one of the most powerful symbols of American manufacturing leadership. Bethlehem Steel's demise often is cited as one of the most prominent examples of the US economy's transition away from industrial manufacturing and its inability to compete with cheap foreign labor. FOUNDING
The Company began on April 8, 1857 as the Saucona Iron Works in South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Then, on May 1, 1861, the company changed its name to Bethlehem Iron Works. Alfred Hunt was elected president by the board of directors on July 15, 1860. In its early years, it produced railroad rails and armor plating for the US Navy. In 1899, the company assumed the name, Bethlehem Steel Company. In 1904, Charles M. Schwab (recently resigned from US Steel, and unrelated to the stockbroker Charles R. Schwab) and Joseph Wharton formed the Bethlehem Steel Corporation with Schwab becoming the first President and chairman of its board of directors. The Bethlehem Steel Corporation ascended to great prominence in American industry, installing the revolutionary grey rolling mill and producing the first wide-flange structural shapes to be made in America. It were largely responsible for ushering in the age of the skyscraper and establishing Bethlehem Steel as the leading supplier of steel to the construction industry. In the early 1900s, the corporation branched out from steel, with iron mines in Cuba and shipyards around the...