America is also becoming a lower-cost manufacturing destination when companies consider the “total cost of ownership,” or TCO: the cost of quality, delivery, transportation, energy consumption, labor monitoring, carrying stock, freight, packaging, and all other aspects of production, as well as labor costs. Energy costs are particularly important, and thanks to shale gas, energy in […]Read More 08: The Return of Real Labor. Maybe.
Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company (PPG)Mount Vernon, OH Opened 1907 – Shuttered 1976 Slated for demolition summer 2013 The former Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company’s Mount Vernon plant sits on seventy acres and opened in 1907 and was operated by PPG, or through one of its divisions, until 1976. You would never know driving by this site, or […]Read More 07: Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company (Mount Vernon, OH)
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. – John Dunne, Meditation XVII Factories and their smokestacks didn’t pop into existence in a mythological big bang of prosperity. Instead, prosperity is built over time by educated scientists, engineers, apprentices and entrepreneurs relying on previous experiences and advancements […]Read More 05: No Man is an Island
I like The Eiffel Tower because it looks like steel and lace. ― Natalie Lloyd Only the French would use steel to build something so beautifully unique, delicately intricate and sexually suggestive. Ironically, it was intended as a “temporary” display for the 1889 World’s Fair to be dismantled in 1909 when ownership of the park reverted back to the City of Paris. […]Read More 04: Steel and Lace
Over the next several weeks I am going to write a bit more about Bethlehem Steel and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (and eventually Bethlehem Steel aka Lackawanna Steel, Buffalo, NY) because so much of this Bethlehem’s story is unknown outside the area. For now I will simply say, that at its manufacturing height, Bethlehem Steel Corporation was the United States’ second-largest steel […]Read More 02: The Ghosts of Bethlehem
The wonderful part of my job and professional life is that I am free to chase smokestacks. It is not that these monoliths to American history, ingenuity and industry are running but so often I am. About five years ago my life changed and I took two weeks at the end of March and drove […]Read More 01: Chasing smokestacks