Special thanks to Greg and Ivan Luther for giving me a guided tour of the historical industrial sites of Johnstown. Ivan is retired from Bethlehem Steel's Johnstown Plant.

Fog rising over Johnstown, PA, a town whose economy was once dominated by Bethlehem Steel. Thirty years ago it would have been unthinkable that Bethlehem would ever be anything less than an American industrial behemoth, and now it doesn't even exist anymore. Bethlehem's phasing out of their Johnstown operations lasted from the 1970s into the 1990s and devastated the local economy. Still, Johnstown remains a very interesting town to visit. (Nov. 2006 image by author)

These buildings in Johnstown, a blacksmith shop and machine shop, were part of the Cambria Iron Company. The company, which dates back to the 1850s, was a predecessor to Bethlehem Steel's Johnstown mills. (Nov. 2006 image by author)

Bethlehem Steel's mills and furnaces ran for 12 miles along the Conemaugh and Little Conemaugh Rivers. The concrete river enclosure dates back to the Johnstown flood of 1936. (Nov. 2006 image by author)

The former Gautier rolling mills of Bethlehem Steel Corp. in Johnstown. (Nov. 2006 image by author)

Another view of the Gautier mills. Some manufacturing is still taking place in them under the name Johnstown America corporation. (Nov. 2006 image by author)

Former Bethlehem's wire mills in Johnstown. (Nov. 2006 image by author)

The "hot end" of Bethlehem's Johnstown operations was in the Franklin section of Johnstown. It's hard to believe that iron ore was once brought by train into Johnstown to make iron for steel. Anyway much of the structure in this photo is gone now. (Mar. 2002 image courtesy of Doug Foreback)

The Lower Cambria Works in Johnstown. (Mar. 2002 image courtesy of Doug Foreback)

Doug also submitted this picture. He describes it: "I've been going through my old photo albums and found this one of the Old Lower Cambria Works. The pictures was taken in 1989 from the Johnstown Amtrak Station. I remember it well because we were in town for the 100th anniversary of the Great Johnstown Flood. I think the blast furnace in the photo is now gone." (1989 image courtesy of Doug Foreback)

The East Conemaugh section of Johnstown. (Nov. 2006 image by author)

Suprisingly enough U.S. Steel once owned this facility in the Bethlehem Steel stronghold of Johnstown. The Johnstown Works fabricated parts and trackwork for streetcars and mine cars. By the 1960's the Johnstown Works supported other U.S. Steel facilities by fabricating rolls and ingot molds. U.S. Steel sold the plant in 1984, and it continues to manufacture these items for the steel industry under the ownership of the Johnstown Corporation. (Nov. 2006 image by author)

On February 17, 1984 the Altoona Mirror reported, "Union negotiators say they hope to iron out a 30-cent-per-hour difference with U.S. Steel Corp. in a concessions contract aimed at averting a permanent shutdown of the financially ailing Johnstown mill. The two sides agreed to return to the bargaining table after talks broke down Tuesday because the union refused to give up more money, Dean Bracken, president of United Steelworkers union 1188, said Thursday ... The Johnstown plant is one of some 30 U.S. Steel mills, mines and other plants slated for shutdown because they are losing money. The widespread closings will cost the jobs of 15,400 workers, including 790 at Johnstown."

Johnstown in the autumn of the year. (Nov. 2006 image by author)

Intermodal railroad shops in Johnstown.(Mar. 2002 image courtesy of Doug Foreback)

Overall view of Vandergrift from the Armstrong County side of the Kiski River. (Mar. 2006 image by author)

This is Allegheny Ludlum's stainless steel mill in Vandergrift. A local resident said that this facility was previously operated by U.S. Steel. If true this is unusual, because a good number of of U.S. Steel's steel mills were in the Mon Valley, not the Kiski Valley. According to a former resident, this mill was not built by Apollo Steel. (Mar. 2006 image by author)

These pleasant looking homes in Vandergrift were probably built at the time of the town's construction. The town was a planned industrial community which would center around the Apollo Steel and Iron Company. The homes were built, then workers were invited to move to Vandergrift, purchase a home, and work for Apollo. Vandergrift was layed out by Frederick Law Olmstead, the same famous land planner that designed Central Park in New York, New York. (Mar. 2006 image by author)

These brick homes in Vandergrift overlooking the town's green space may have been reserved for management of Apollo Steel. (Mar. 2006 image by author)

The Greek Orthodox Church in Vandergrift. (Mar. 2006 image by author)

This interesting brownfields site in Vandergrift was the Vandergrift Foundry. At various times it was also operated by McLaughlin Steel and before them Wean United. (Mar. 2006 image by author)

Vandergrift, PA, in Westmoreland County, is an example of a town that has retained its industrial core to provide good paying jobs and well kept homes to its residents. (Mar. 2006 image by author)

Standard Steel in Latrobe, PA was a manufacturer of steel ingots for the railroad industry. The mill's owner went bankrupt in 2002, and the mill was idled in 2004. But as of 2006 part of it is being used by Lehigh Specialty Melting. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

They don't make steel mills like this anymore - former Standard Steel in Latrobe. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Detail of former Standard Steel mill. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Another part of the old Standard Steel mill in Latrobe is a classic Rust Belt landscape. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Typical workers' housing in the Latrobe neighborhood surrounding the former Standard Steel mill. In the Rust Belt these types of homes are called "mill houses." (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Athletic Field across the street from Standard Steel in Latrobe. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

These homes were probably occupied by management of Standard Steel at one time. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

One Latrobe steel mill that was booming at the time of this image was the former Latrobe Steel Co.; then Timken; not Latrobe Specialty Metals - a manufacturer of specialty alloy products. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

A glimpse of the back side of the Timken Latrobe Steel mill. The historic plant can trace its history back to the World War 1 era, when it was a pioneer among users of electric furnaces. USW Local 1537 called a strike at Latrobe Steel in 2008 lasting for about two months. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Looking between SWP engines in Scottdale, PA, with the large Duraloy plant in the background. Duraloy is a foundry of specialized alloys. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

Train depot and industrial structures in Scottdale, PA, which once was home to one of the largest pipe mills in the USA. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

One of the residential sections of Scottdale. (Jul. 2006 image by author)

The Sons of Italy club, with vintage industrial structures behind it, in Scottdale, PA. (July 2006 image by author)

Ruins of the Westmoreland Glass Company factory along the old Pennsylvania Railroad mainline in Grapeville, PA. The factory closed in 1982 and must have burned and fallen into ruin in the 1990s, as a 1989 photo of the plant shows it idle but still intact. (Nov. 2006 image by author)