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Washington Steel Company Records

Source:
Bethlehem Steel Corporation  Search this
Creator:
Washington Steel Corporation  Search this
Former owner:
Bethlehem Steel Corporation  Search this
Inventor:
Sendzimir, Tadeusz, 1894-1989  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Black-and-white photographs
Negatives (photographic)
Photograph albums
Photographic slides
Date:
1947-1994
Summary:
The collection contains photographs and safety materials from the Washington Steel Corporation, a manufacturer based in Washington, Pennsylvania.
Scope and Contents:
This collection primarily consists of photographs of the Washington Steel Corporation's plant and its employees from its founding in 1945 through the 1970s. Many of the photographs depict company dinners or outdoor events. Some photographs document work within the steel mill. Most of the photographs were labelled and numbered upon receipt by the Division of Work and Industry and have been arranged based upon this numbering scheme. The collection also contains employee safety materials produced by the United Steelworkers.
Arrangement:
Materials are arranged as a single series.
Biographical / Historical:
The Washington Steel Corporation was founded by T.S. Fitch in 1945. Based in Washington, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, the Washington Steel Corporation was known for its use of Tadeusz Sendzimir's Z-Mill for cold-rolling stainless steel. Instead of using multi-stand four high rolls Sendzimir's Z-Mill used a clustered nest of rolls, like two inverted pyramids (1-2-3-4 configuration). The company won fame within the industry when its steel was used in the construction of the Atlas missile used to launch the first American spacecraft to orbit the Earth, the Friendship 7. As the steel industry declined in the United States, the firm was purchased by the Lukens Steel Company in 1992, which was in turn purchased by Bethlehem Steel in 1997.
Related Materials:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Washington Steel Film Collection (NMAH.AC.0730)

Sendzimir Mill Video Documentation (NMAH.AC.0605)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Bethlehem Steel Corporation in 1997.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Iron and steel industry  Search this
Mills  Search this
Steel industry and trade  Search this
Genre/Form:
Black-and-white photographs
Negatives (photographic)
Photograph albums
Photographic slides
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1443
See more items in:
Washington Steel Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1443
Online Media:

Sendzimir Mill Video Documentation

Interviewer:
Liebhold, Peter  Search this
Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Names:
Washington Steel Mill  Search this
Sendzimir, Tadeusz, 1894-1989  Search this
Extent:
1 Cubic foot (3 boxes)
27 Video recordings
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Video recordings
Videotapes
Oral history
Interviews
Date:
December 1996.
Scope and Contents:
Inventor Tadeusz Sendzimir, a Polish immigrant, designed and installed the first "Z" Mill for cold rolling stainless steel in the United States. The videohistory documents the story of a new approach to the rolling process of steel technology transfer and consumer demand for a new product;video documents the mill in operation and interviews with active and retired workers.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into 3 series.

Series 1: Original Videotapes (13)

Series 2: Master Videotapes (7)

Series 3: Reference Videotapes (7).
Biographical / Historical:
Tadeusz Sendzimir, a Polish émigré, came to the United States in 1939 to work at Armco Steel in Middletown, Ohio. Sendzimir had earlier developed radical processes for galvanizing steel (1931) and cold rolling steel (1933). Sendzimir's rolling process departed dramatically from the multi-stand continuous process developed by John Tytus Armco (1924). Instead of using multi-stand four high rolls Sendzimir's mill used a clustered nest of rolls, like two inverted pyramids (1-2-3-4 configuration). A few Sendzimir Mills were built in Europe before WW II stopped construction of experimental steel plants. While Sendzimir was working at Armco, Signode Steel in Chicago ordered on of his "Z" Mills (Sendzimir Mills are called "Z" Mills in the United States). Signode used the mill to successfully roll low carbon steel for strapping and more importantly for rolling ultra thin silicon steel (for radar units) during WW II.

Stainless steel, first developed around 1915, is made by alloying carbon steel with chromium to make a metal that is highly resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel is relatively hard and is difficult to weld, cut, or drill. The physical properties of stainless steel are important to understanding why the "Z" mill has been so successful. Stainless steel was traditionally rolled in sheets on a four high reversing mill (with a Z mill much larger strips forming rolls can be made). Because stainless steel work hardens quickly it cannot be run through a multi-stand mill easily. One advantage of the a Z mill is that the small work rolls provide a sharper bite, greater pressure, and less roll deflection than a four high mill and thus can roll stainless top gage without having to anneal (soften) the roll.

For more on Sendzimir as an inventor see Steel Will: The Life of Tad Sendizmir, Hippocrene Books, New York, 1994 and by Vanda Sendzimir or "My Father the Inventor" in Invention and Technology, Fall 1995, p. 54-63 also by Vanda Sendzimir.
Related Archival Materials:
Mill's central control pulpit in collection of the Division of History of Technology.
Provenance:
Created by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and Peter Liebhold of the Division of History of Technology in December 1996.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use of reference vidreotapes on site, by appointment. Original videotapes are stored off-site.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Steel industry and trade -- 1930-2000  Search this
Steel -- Cold working -- 20th century  Search this
Steel, Stainless -- 20th century  Search this
Factories -- 20th century  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Citation:
Sendzimir Mill Video Documentation, December 1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0605
See more items in:
Sendzimir Mill Video Documentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0605

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