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Sharon Steel Corporation - Lehman Brothers Collection

Sharon Steel Corporation

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Sharon Steel Corporation was incorporated in Pennsylvania on October 8, 1900, as the Sharon Steel Hoop Company. It was organized by Morris Bachman and was located along the Shenango River, near Sharon, Pennsylvania. It was there that it built an eight- and nine-inch hot mill to roll cooperage hoop, cotton ties, and narrow steel bands.

Sharon inaugurated a building program in 1902 that included four thirty-five-ton open hearth furnaces, a blooming mill, and a bar mill on which billets would be converted into bands on eight- and nine-inch rolls. A fifth open hearth furnace was added in 1905 and a ten-inch hot strip mill was brought into production. In 1906 Sharon built and operated the first continuous pickling and galvanizing unit ever built in the United States.

Over the next decade, Sharon added more hearths and auxiliary equipment. By 1913 the annual capacity of the company was 180 tons of open hearth ingots.

Sharon Steel Hoop expanded in 1917 by buying the Youngstown Iron and Steel Company with a steel plant in Lowellville and sheet mills in Youngstown. It also acquired the Mary Furnace from Ohio Iron and Steel Company to secure a source of pig iron supply for the Lowellville Plant.

In the late 1920s Sharon set out to be more competitive in the field of hot rolled bands. A new continuous two-high hot strip processing plant was built during 1928, and at the same time, construction was started on a new cold roll plant in the Sharon Works. Also, in an attempt to diversify the products of the company, Sharon started the development and initial production of stainless steel in late 1930.

After World War II, Sharon Steel continued with a long-range program of development and expansion. On April 1, 1956, it acquired the Detroit Seamless Steel Tubes Company, a seamless tube producer. On November 9, 1945, Sharon purchased the Farrell Works, a steel-producing property located adjacent to the finishing mills in Sharon, from the Carnegie-Illinois Steel Company. The following year, in 1946, it expanded further by concluding a lease with the U.S. government for a byproduct coke plant in Morgantown, West Virginia. It followed that acquisition with purchases in October 1946 of the Bopp Steel Corporation and the Brainard Steel Corporation in December 1946.

During the 1950s Sharon initiated a program of capital improvements and modernization to lower production costs. Sharon developed its Mahoning Creek Coal Mine during 1959 and 1960 and constructed nearby a coal cleaning plant and 264 beehive coke ovens at a cost of $3.65 million. Sharon embarked on a program to broaden the market for its flat rolled product line in 1962 by the installation of wider rolling facilities. That year it also acquired all of the capital stock of Macomber Incorporated. Macomber was engaged in the manufacture and sale of structural steel products primarily used in light construction.

In 1963 Sharon acquired Union Steel Corporation, Hind Steel Company, and various assets of Union Transport, Inc.

By 1964 Sharon employed approximately 7,600 people and had sales of $160.7 million.

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