The steel museum celebrates its 30th anniversary | News, Sports, Jobs

YOUNGSTOWN — The continuous casting method of steelmaking will be on display at an open house from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday when the Steel Museum, 151 W. West Wood St., hosts one of many events this year to celebrate the museum’s 30th anniversary.

The Youngstown Historic Center of Industry and Labor will preview a model it has had since March 1991, 15 months before the museum opened in June 1992.

The model was built in the 1970s by LTV Corp. of Cleveland of a continuous cast which he then built in 1983 at his factory in Cleveland Cliffs. Dr. John Liana, assistant curator at the museum, and museum consultant Tom Leary said LTV still uses continuous casting at its Cleveland Cliffs factory, although they are not sure if it is identical to the model.

The model is large – over 9ft by 8ft and about 8ft tall, mounted on tables. His realism and attention to detail are remarkable.

Liana said that when engineering students from Eastern Gateway Community College came to the museum to help with the model, they “I couldn’t believe anyone actually did this, the amount of work it took to do this.”

Liana said the reason for the model’s quality is why it was built – so the company can show it to customers or investors, promote its products and demonstrate the modernity of its mill.

The Republic Steel/WCI plant in Warren was the only steel mill in the Youngstown-Warren area with continuous casting, Liana and Leary said. It was built in 1993.

The Youngstown mills have never had continuous casting, which is “part of the why” the mills of Youngstown have closed, “because there has been no modernization”, said Liana. Republic Steel’s continuous pitcher in Warren was the only one between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Liana said.

“Warren had one that would look like this” but until more research is done, it’s unclear how similar the model is to Warren’s, Liana said of the model.

Warren’s former WCI plant closed in 2012 and demolition of the plant began in 2013, followed by the removal of its iconic blast furnace in 2017.


Liana said he expects the model to bring back memories for workers who spent time in the steel industry.

“It’s attractive to all the men who worked in the factories. It’s memory” he says of the model. “We had three or four guys one day (at the museum) who wanted to look at plant maps,” Liana remembers. Museum officials provided the maps.

“These three guys said, ‘I used to go here. We used to walk here. They stood there making detailed observations and discussions just by looking at this map,” said Liana. “It’s memory. It is the preservation of this memory for future generations.

He said a person could tell his grandchildren about a continuous pitcher, but, “They may not know what it is. They will now,” said Liana.

“It revolutionized the way things were done,” Liana said continuous casters. Liana stood in front of the model last week showing the different stages of a continuous cast, saying molten steel is poured into what is called a “distributor”, which is like a bathtub, which introduced molten steel into a mold which creates an ingot. The model has realistic ingots.

“Everything flows to this conveyor belt-like system, and then it keeps running and rolling until the end of the factory, where they pick it up and put it in the yard,” said Liana.

“Continuous casting made things two to three times faster than regular casting – the old method of casting an ingot – because you couldn’t do so much at once because you had to take time to empty the oven, fill the ladle and fill the ingot moulds”, he said.

The continuous casting method of steelmaking was invented in the 1950s and was a big breakthrough in the steel industry because it “streamlined the system”,making production more efficient, saving money and energy and leading to fewer errors and a higher quality product, according to Marcel Wilson, Site Manager of the Steel Museum.

The old method of making steel resulted in up to 5% of substandard steel and had to be scrapped, Wilson said.

A partnership between the museum and two local universities—Youngstown State University and Eastern Gateway Community College—provides labor to make missing or broken parts of the model and helps develop an exhibit explaining how the roulette wheel works. A volunteer and Liana did much of the cleaning of the model.


During the Saturday event, visitors will get a behind-the-scenes look at the work being done to clean and restore the model. Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public. The open house is part of the Ohio History Connection’s Ohio Open Doors event that began Thursday and will continue through Saturday.

The goal of the Open Door event is for the facilities to “open their doors to the public for special tours and allow the public to celebrate Ohio’s architecture and history at a free event, according to the Ohio History Connection.

Another September event celebrating the Steel Museum’s 30th anniversary will take place at 6 p.m. on September 22 at the museum with Angelica Diaz, executive director of the Organizacion Civica y Cultural Hispana Americana, and other members sharing their experiences. and reflect on 50 years of OCCHA.

And at 6 p.m. on November 10, Donna DeBlasio, former director of the Steel Museum, will share her memories of the Steel Museum’s beginnings and growth.

Liana said part of the philosophy of Open Doors events is to allow the public to “see things they would never see again in the real world. You’re not going to find anything like that in Youngstown or Warren,” said Liana.

The main parts of the museum are on the first floor, where steelmaking artifacts and images are displayed from the early days of steelmaking in Youngstown until 1920, when the Mahoning Valley was second only to Pittsburgh in steel production. national steel, and to more modern times. , when most of the mills were demolished.

Anniversary events

• Saturday 4 pm: Visitors go behind the scenes of cleaning and restoration work on a continuous casting model used in the steel industry. Free and open to the public. The open house is part of the Ohio History Connection’s Ohio Open Doors event.

• 6:00 pm September 22: Angelica Diaz, Executive Director of the Organizacion Civica y Cultural Hispana Americana, and others will share their experiences and reflect on OCCHA’s 50th anniversary.

• 6:00 pm Nov. 10: Donna DeBlasio, former Director of the Steel Museum, will share her memories of the beginnings and growth of the Steel Museum.

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