This is the premiere DVD compilation about steel production and the steel industry. We have collected all the rare and hard-to-find steel and iron industry films of the 1930s, 40s and 50s and gathered them onto 2 DVDs for posterity, study and enjoyment. You cant find this unique DVD compilation anywhere else! High on both educational content and amazing vintage video footage of iron, steel and alloy production, these films cover all the important subjects for beginners, experts or anyone interesting in learning about steel making. Watch and see how steel is made, the use of steel mill equipment, US commercial steel buildings, steel mill pics and the general history of steel.
The Drama of Steel
Length: 33 Minutes
Steel is the backbone of the American dream. Its uses are varied and contribute to almost every form of production in some way. “The Drama of Steel,” explains the process of making steel, including what materials are used, how it is molded into its proper shape, the factory line it goes through in an increasingly hands off process, and what products can be made from steel. It claims steel is the technology of tomorrow and with the combined efforts of engineers, scientists, and manufactures, steel will lead the pack in innovation and invention.
Steel: A Symphony of Industry
Length: 17 Minutes
Steel: A Symphony of Industry is a powerful and artistic film from 1936 which illuminates the steel-making process from start to finish with cinematic flourish little seen in other films of this genre. The various cutting edge steel producing techniques of the time, such as the Bessemer process, electric furnace, and open hearth furnace are all depicted in gripping detail, revealing the history of steel manufacturing. The footage captures all of the steps in production, from ore preparation to a variety of finished products rolling off the line, including the steelworkers toiling hard at their craft. Steel: A Symphony of Industry, produced by the American Iron and Steel Institute, is an educational video that makes the process of steel-making seem like a modern marvel, but it also unwittingly reveals the poor working conditions and dangerous lack of safety provisions for steel workers that existed in mills of that era.
Length: 24 Minutes
The film New Neighbor describes the process it took to build Fairless Steel Mill and its accompanying steelworkers housing development, Fairless Hills, from the early stages of engineering and site selection to the construction itself and the dedication ceremonies for the finished plant two years later. Named after the Chairman and CEO of U.S. Steel, the Fairless plant was the largest mill of its kind built all at one time. The concerns of the surrounding Morrisville, Pennsylvania community on the effects of industrialization on population, such as air and water pollution, are addressed, and cooperation with school boards, hospital committees, planning commissions, etc is shown. There is very interesting footage of all the stages of the construction of steel in the 1950s, including excavation, concrete pouring, building furnaces, driving rivets, a water treatment plant, power lines, and much more. This is truly a treatise on the history of steel in America and engineering history. The human phases of development, such as architects designing the plant and residential community, and job interviews for the workers, are documented as well. Footage of the dedication ceremony shows Fairlesss wife and granddaughter christening and lighting the furnaces with their namesake, as well as Mrs. Fairless giving a dedication speech. New Neighbor is a great piece of the history of the steel industry.
Length: 10 Minutes
Tough Friends is a 1930s promotional film that answers the question, how is steel made from iron ore? with many good shots of steel mills of the era. Jam Handy Productions made this film for the Chevrolet Motor Company in 1938 in order to explain how Chevys were safer and more durable because of the new, stronger steel materials from which they were constructed. Shot like a stirring documentary, the film illuminates the history of the steel industry in America, as well as the history of steel. Steel mill workers are seen mixing alloys to create better hard steel. Tough Friends is a vintage Chevy ad thats also a wonderful historical document.
Length: 24 Minutes
Valley Town is a social documentary directed by Willard Van Dyke and was commissioned by the Alfred P. Sloane foundation during Sloanes management of General Motors. It explores the effect of industrialization on American towns. A great piece of documentary filmmaking, Valley Town is the fictionalized boomtown that is created by machines, but is then destroyed by newer machines that make its workers obsolete. The effects of industrialization on population are devastating. An extremely sensitive and well made film, Valley Town portrays the shattered lives of the factory workers and their wives and children through haunting images of industrialization in America. Meditative shots of the demolished factory and its crestfallen workers is overlaid with beautiful songs sung by the workers wives. Because of its message – the irresponsibility of large corporations was largely to blame for catastrophes of this nature – Sloane pulled it from post-production and had it edited to cast corporations in a better light and promote a new message of educating workers in order to keep them from becoming unemployable. This is an important moment in the history of General Motors. Still, the film retains the better part of its criticism of evil corporate America and captures the average lifestyle during industrialization in America.
Bridge for the Yaque
Length: 14 Minutes
Bridge for Yaque is an informative historical description of the U.S. Steel manufacturing company constructing a bridge in the Dominican Republic. There is no bridge over the North Yaque River in Santiago, and the building of this bridge is an important part of Dominican Republic History. The film details how the designers must account for many factors, including the traffic demands and topography of the region. What they will then begin is a superb example of 20th century bridge building. Once the engineers of the bridge building company have checked all aspects of the design, the earthmoving will begin. Large amounts of earth are displaced in order to create the build up to the bridge deck. They will use aggregate from the river and mix it in with the concrete, taking advantage of local resources when possible. In a daring bit of construction work, a dam has to be constructed to enable the use of a crane in the middle of the river! All the work will be done so that the bridge is symmetrical from one side to the other. Once the steel structure is secure, the reinforced concrete bridge deck is put in place. Concrete is poured over, and a vibrator is used to reduce air voids between the concrete and the rebar. It is brushed, wetted, and cured, which is a key to building a strong bridge. This is a great look at historical bridge engineering.
To Each Other
Length: 10 Minutes
This promotional film sponsored by the United States Steel Company promotes the idea that the steel industry was contributing greatly to the World War 2 war effort by making the weapons, munitions, and tools that soldiers needed to fight and survive. Though the film is a blatant attempt to win support for U.S. steel, it offers some precious glimpses of the history of steel making and the history of the steel industry. Oscar-winning character actor Walter Brennan plays a steelworker who claims to support his WWII soldier son (also a former steelworker) by working in the U.S. steel industry. As a World War Two steel manufacturer, Brennans character explains to his son the new technology and modern advances made possible by the steel industry in order to protect him while he is abroad fighting. Steelworkers that toiled in mills across the nation had a major impact on World War II, and this short film captures that effort.
Illinois Steel Corporation Supervisor’s Picnic
Length: 12 Minutes
An intersting look at industrial corporate life, this film documents the Carnegie Illinois Steel Corporation Homestead Division (one of the top steel companies in Illinois) supervisors picnic at the Lithuanian Country Club. At the picnic, the men enjoy playing baseball and horseshoes, eating traditional picnic fare like corn on the cob, and trying their hand at company picnic games. A piece of Illinois steel manufacturing history, this amateur film gem that shows off the culture of steel mill workers in the 1940s.