STEAM MAKING STEEL


| May/June 1996



Steam engine

Jack C. Norbeck

Story and photos by Jack C. Norbeck, Norbeck Research 117 Ruch Street, Coplay, Pennsylvania 18037

October 20, 1995 marked the end of 87-year-old 48-inch Grey Mill making steel beams with steam power at Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This mill was the heart of Charles Schwab's dream to enlarge his Bethlehem Steel Company into one of the country's great steel producers. It was the foundations upon which the giant Bethlehem Steel Corporation would rise.

The mill itself, designed by Henry Grey, with construction supervised by Eugene Grace, was undoubtedly one of the most spectacular engineering achievements of its time. Moreover, Mr. Schwab's success in financing this gigantic venture in the midst of many difficulties was a remarkable economic triumph and a story in itself.

Charles Schwab proved to be a fortunate man; Mr. Grey's mechanical ideas worked. The new product was accepted by the construction industry, and most importantly, in the Lehigh Valley area he found a work force more than equal to the task.

The 46' Blooming Mill's 14,000 HP twin tandem compound steam engine. She was built in 1916 by Wm. Tod Company, Youngstown, Ohio. The size of this steam engine is 40' x 66' x 54'. The steam pressure to run her is 150 lbs. PSI and she needs 75,000 lbs. per hour. Her shipping weight was 950,000 pounds.

The 48' Grey Mill's 20,000 HP twin tandem compound steam engine. She was built in 1916 by Wm. Tod Company, Youngstown, Ohio. The size of this steam engine is 46' x 76' x 72'. The steam pressure to run her is 150 lbs. PSI and she needs 98,000 lbs. per hour. Her shipping weight was 1,675,000 pounds. In the picture is Mr. Bill Lease, general foreman.