Building with Steel – Where Was It Made?


What landmarks, bridges, and railroads used Bethlehem Steel? The answer may not be as simple as you think. We’ll dive into archival material, history books, and documentation from guests to learn where steel came from and who fabricated it. As the museum explores a virtual map correlating projects with their steel sources, they will trace the family trees of Bethlehem Steel, subsidiary companies, and sometimes the competition to show how the company grew, changed, and sourced steel products from plants throughout the nation.

This lecture is presented by NMIH Historian Mike Piersa. Mike graduated with a bachelor’s in history from Moravian College and a master’s in history from Lehigh University. He has been with NMIH for over 17 years and has been instrumental in the research and interpretation behind the museum’s collections as well as the restoration of historical industrial equipment both at the museum and at outside facilities. His quarry machinery preservation work resulted in him becoming an MSHA Certified Miner and taking leading roles in important restoration and preservation projects across the country, including the Bangor Quarry Hoist Project, a collaboration between the Totts Gap Arts Institute, the American Industrial Mining Company Museum, and the Borough of Bangor, PA. Mike has presented across the country on his work with industrial heritage and in 2019 published The Big Green Machine, a short book detailing the history, preservation, and operational restoration of NMIH’s 115-ton stationary steam engine.