The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State

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The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
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The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
3oir
UNIVERSITY
OF ILLINOIS
STUDIES
IN THE
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Vol.
XIII
June,
1925
No.
2
THE IRON AND STEEL
INDUSTRY
OF THE CALUMET
DISTRICT
A STUDY
IN
ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
BY
JOHN
B. APPLETON,
Ph.D.
PRICE
$1.50
PUBLISHED BY
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OF ILLINOIS
URBANA
[Entered
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1915,
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191
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1103,
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3,
19^7,
authorized
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31,
1918.]
(Copyright,
1927,
by
The University
of
Illinois)
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
UNIVERSITY
OF
ILLINOIS
STUDIES IN THE
SOCIAL
SCIENCES
Vol. I,
1912
No«. I and
2. Financial history
of
Ohio. By
E. L. Bogart.
^1.80.
No.
3.
Sources
of
municipal
revenues in Illinois. By
L. D.
Upson.*
No.
4.
Friedrich Gentz: an
opponent of the French
Revolution
and
Napoleon. By
P. E.
Reiff. 80 cents.
Vol. II,
1913
No. 1.
Taxation of corporations
in Illinois,
other than railroads, since
1872.
By
J.
R.
Moore.
55
cents.
N08. 2
and
3.
The West in
the diplomatic negotiations
of the American
Revolution.
By P.
C.
Phillips.*
No.
4.
The development of
banking
in
Illinois,
1817-1863. By
G.
W. Dowrie.*
Vol. Ill,
1914
Nos.
1
and
2.
The
history
of
the general property tax
in
Illinois.
By
R. M.
Haig.
i5i.2S.
No.
3.
The Scandinavian element in the United States. By
K.
C.
Babcock.*
No.
4.
Church and state in Massachusetts,
1691-1740.
By Susan
M. Reed.*
Vol. IV,
191S
No.
I. The
Illinois Whigs before
1846.
By
C.
M.
Thompson.*
No.
2. The
defeat of Varus and the German frontier policy of Augustus. By
W.
A.
Oldfather and H.
V. Canter.*
Nos.
3
and
4.
The
history of the
Illinois Central railroad
to 1870.
By H.
G.
Brown-
son.*
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1916
No. I.
The
enforcement of international law through
municipal law
in the United
States. By
Philip Quincy Wright.*
No.
2. The
life
of
Jesse
W.
Fell. By
Frances
M.
Morehouse. 60 cents.
No.
3.
Land
tenure in the United
States with special reference to
Illinois.
By Charles
L.
Stewart.*
No.
4.
Mine
taxation
in the United
States. By L.
E.
Young.
$1.50.
Vol.
VI,
1917
Nos. I
and 2. The veto
power
of
the
governor of
Illinois. By Niels
H.
Debel.
$1.00.
No.
3.
Wage
bargaining
on the vessels of the
Great Lakes. By H. E.
Hoagland.
$1.50.
No.
4.
The
household
of
a Tudor
nobleman. By P. V.
B.
Jones.
55i.so.
Vol. VII,
1918
Nos.
I and
2.
Legislative regulation of
railway
finance in
England. By
C. C.
Wang.*
N-.
3.
The
American
municipal executive.
By
R. M.
Story*
No.
4.
The
Journeymen
Tailors' Union
of America.
A
study in trade union
policy.
By
Charles
J.
Stowell.*
Vol.
VIII,
1919
No. I.
Co-operative and
other
organized methods of
marketing California
horticul-
tural products. By
J.
W.
Lloyd.*
No.
2.
Cumulative
voting and minority
representation
in Illinois.
By
B.
F.
Moore.
Revised
edition.*
Nos.
3
and
4.
Labor problems
and labor
administration in
the United
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during
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World
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Gordon
Watkins.*
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IX,
1920
Nos.
I and 2. War
powers of
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in the United
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By
C. A.
Berdahl*
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English
government
finance,
1485-1558.
By
F.
C.
Dietz.
*
No.
4.
The
economic
policies of
Richelieu. By F.
C.
Palm.
^i.-50.
*Out
of
print.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
UNIVERSITY OF
ILLINOIS
STUDIES
IN THE
SOCIAL
SCIENCES
Vol.
XIII
June,
1925
No. 2
Board of Editors
Ernest L.
Bogart
John
A. Fairlie
Albert H. Lybyer
/
Published
by the Unu'ersity of Illinois
Under the
Auspices
of
the
Graduate School
Urbana,
Illinois
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
Copyright,
1927
By
the
University
of
Illinois
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
THE
IRON
AND STEEL
INDUSTRY
OF
THE CALUMET
DISTRICT
A
STUDY IN
ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
By
John
B. Appleton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Geography
University of Illinois
PUBLISHED
BY THE UNIVERSITY
OF
ILLINOIS
URBANA
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
yi^./2.
PREFACE
^
The
data on
which the conclusions reached in this study
are
based
have
been
collected in three ways:
(i)
by
field
observation
of
conditions
as
they exist at
the
present
time,
(2)
by
personal conferences with
executive
officials
of
the various
iron
and steel
plants and associated
industries,
(3)
by
library investigation
of
the available data
in Chi-
cago
and
at
Washington, D. C.
Statistical
material,
even including that available
In the evi-
dence
which was given
before the Federal Trade
Commission
during the
"Pittsburgh Plus"
inquiry, is incomplete and
not al-
together reliable.
Nevertheless, it has been
possible
to
supplement
and
to check the
published
material through conference and field
observation
sufficiently to
permit
an
evaluation
of
the present
importance
of
the area from the standpoint of
production. Sug-
gestions as to
probable future developments are based
on con-
clusions
which have been reached
during
the course of the
investi-
gation.
The
author is indebted
to the
officials of the
various iron
and
steel
companies for their courtesy
and
co-operation. They have
supplied much
very
useful
information,
and
have made many
helpful suggestions.
The United States
Army Engineer
of the
Chicago
District,
the
Indiana Harbor
Belt Railroad
Company,
the
Elgin
Joliet
and
Eastern Railroad
Company, and the
Secretary
of the
Lake
Superior
Iron Ore Association,
have supplied a
number
of
useful
maps.
V
The Editors of
various
trade
journals,
including
Iron
Age^
^
Coal Age^
The
Iron
Trade
Review, and Motorship,
have loaned a
number
of useful photographs
and
supplied
references
to
pub-
lished material.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
The
Wellman-Seaver-Morgan
Company,
the
Columbus
Mining
Company,
and the Illinois
Steel Company, have
supplied
a
large
number of
photographs.
The
Chambers
of Commerce
at Chicago, Gary,
Hibbing,
Hammond,
and
Escanaba,
have been very helpful.
The
writer
wishes to thank Professor Harlan H. Barrows,
and
Professor Wellington
D.
Jones
of the University of
Chicago,
for
their
helpful suggestions, which have
enabled him to
organize
and
carry through
the investigation,
and to present his
conclusions
In the
following
study.
John
B. Appleton
University of Illinois
December,
1925.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
TABLE
OF
CONTENTS
PAGE
Introduction
ii
PART I
THE PRODUCTION
OF IRON AND STEEL IN THE
CALUMET
DISTRICT
Chapter I.
The Magnitude and Character of the Industry
...
19
The
importance of the industry in the Calumet
District,
19.
The
status of Calumet production in the Northern
Interior
and in
the United
States,
19.
The
decline of the industry of Chicago
accompanied its
expansion in the Calumet District,
27.
The
distribution and location of
iron and
steel
plants within the
Calumet District,
29.
Modern equipment and methods reduce
costs of production below those of other districts,
33.
The
dominant feature of the industry is large scale production,
33.
Products,
34.
Chapter
II.
The Location of
the
Calumet District
with
Refer-
ence TO Sources of Raw Materials
41
Iron
Ore—
Consumption
and sources,
41.
The
grading and
classi-
fication of
ores,
42.
Mining operations,
45.
Ore handling at
Upper Lake Ports,
47.
Reserves of
ore,
48.
Lake Transpor-
tation facilities,
49.
Facilities
at Calumet ports for the recep-
tion of
ore,
53.
Cca/—Sources, Types of coal. Reserves 61. Mining operations,
63.
Transportation and
cost
of assembling,
64.
Fuel
consump-
tion, 66. Conservation practices,
74.
Utilization of Blast Fur-
nace
gases,
74.
Use of Open Hearth gases,
76.
Use
of
By-
product oven gases,
76.
Other practices
for
fuel economy,
77.
Limestofie
—
Consumption
and sources,
77.
Types of limestone
used,
78.
Quarrying
operations in Michigan,
78.
Conditions
at
Kelleys Island and Marblehead,
79.
Non-use of Illinois
and
Indiana
supplies, 80.
Chapter
III. Local Conditions
in
the Calumet
District
Favorable
for Iron and
Steel Production
81
The Nature
0/
the Industry Requires Large
Areas
oj
Flat
Land—The lay-
out
of
the
plant in
relation to the site, 81. The superiority of
lake-shore
locations,
83.
The disadvantages of lake-shore
locations,
84.
The necessity of large storage space for winter
supplies,
85.
The
problem
of slag disposal, 86, The disposal of
flue
dust,
89.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
Adequate
Supplies
of
Water are Available
to All Mills
—The necessity
for
large
supplies of
water,
89.
Consumption,
90.
Water easily
obtained
from either Lake
Michigan
or the Calumet River,
91.
Chapter IV.
Labor
Conditions
92
Labor
Supply—Advantages of location
near Chicago,
92.
Types of
labor employed,
93.
Industrial
Expansion has Necessitated
Urban Development
—Western
sections,
93.
Eastern sections,
94.
Co-operation of the indus-
trialists in
urbanization —Gary,
95.
Present trend of urban
expansion,
97.
Suburban
Railroad
Facilities,
98.
PART II
MARKETING ASPECTS
Chapter
V.
The
Calumet
District in Relation to Its Markets
.
loi
The
Natural Markets
of
the
Calumet District— Chicago, loi. Char-
acter of
Market, loi.
Beyond Chicago, 106.
Character
of Mar-
ket,
108.
Transportation
Facilities in the
Calumet District in Relation to Market-
ing—Railroads,
no.
Chicago the center of extensive
railroad
net.
III. Belt
lines
—
their
purpose, location and
function, 112.
Trucking,
115.
The
Great Lakes
waterway,
115.
Ai-tijicial Restriction
of
the Markets
of
the
Calumet
District, 116.
The Probable
Extent and
Location
of
Markets
with the Removal
of
'^Pittsburgh
Plus"
119
Selected
Bibliography
121
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
LIST
OF
FIGURES
PAGE
1.
Map
Showing Iron and Steel Plants
and the Railroad
Net in the
Calumet
District
29
2.
Map
Showing Sources
and
Movement
of
Iron
Ore, Coal, and
Lime-
stone
41
3.
Map
Showing Metropolitan Chicago and
the Elgin
Joliet
and
Eastern
Railroad (Outer Belt)
102
LIST
OF
PLATES
1. Mining
Operations at North Forty, Hibbing, Minnesota
123
2. A
Modern Lake Freighter Alongside the Ore Dock at Escanaba
. .123
3.
Loading Ore
at Duluth Ore Docks
125
4.
Mouth of the Calumet
River and Illinois
Steel
Plant
125
5.
Gary Harbor
and
Ore
Docks
127
6.
Unloading Ore—a
Clam
Shell in the
Hold
of a
Lake
Freighter .
. .
127
7.
Unloading Ore at Gary
129
8.
Coal Mining at Christopher, Eastern Kentucky
129
9.
Coal Dock of the Wisconsin Steel Company, Calumet River
. . .
131
10.
Limestone Quarry at
Alpena, Michigan
131
11. Ore
Piles,
Iroquois Plant,
South Chicago
133
LIST OF TABLES
I.
Receipts of Iron Ore at Calumet Ports,
1901-1925
20
II. Total
Shipments of Lake Superior
Ore
and
Receipts at Calumet
Ports,
1
901-1925
24
in.
Iron and Steel Production for Selected
States
25
IV.
Relative Mill
Cost
of Manufacturing Structural Shapes,
Plates,
Merchant Bars, Black
Sheets,
in
Pittsburgh, Chicago, Duluth,
Birmingham,
1920
35
V. Kinds
of Steel
Produced in Illinois, Indiana, and
U. S. A.,
1880-1924
38
VI.
By-product Coke Capacity of the Calumet
District,
1924
....
71
VII. Manufactures of
Chicago,
1919
102
VIII. Estimated
Consumption
of
Steel,
1924
104
IX. Distribution of
Steel Among the Chief
Consuming Groups,
1921,
1922,
1923, 1924
no
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
INTRODUCTION
The
Calumet
Industrial
District stretches along
the
south-
western and
southern shore of Lake Michigan from
the
western
limits of
South
Chicago
to the eastern
limits
of Gary. It con-
stitutes a
part of
Metropolitan Chicago,
and although part
of it
lies in
Illinois and part in
Indiana,
it is an economic unit.
The district is important chiefly because of its manufacturing,
which
centers around iron and steel. The character
of
the in-
dustrial development
is obvious
at a
glance
as one
traverses the
district, for across wide
tracts of unused land
the
large mills, with
their many smoking stacks,
stand out in striking
relief. A closer
view
shows
large
lake freighters discharging ore
at the docks, on
which lie great piles of
ore, coal,
and
limestone,
extensive and
elaborate machinery for
transferring
this huge bulk of materials,
trainloads of
coal, coke plants,
and
noisy mills much alike exter-
nally, but
within, fitted
to the
specialized
needs of
this
industry of
many ramifications.
Prior to the founding of the
iron
and steel plants, little or no
industrial,
residential,
or
even
agricultural
development had taken
place in the district in spite of its proximity
to
Chicago. The
marshy
and
sandy
character
of the land
had
left it
largely waste.
Consequently, when
the
steel interests recognized
the value of
the lake shore
and
the banks of the Calumet River for large
scale industry,
they
were able to acquire all
the land they needed
in large
blocks, because no subdivision for
residential purposes
had taken place. Subsequent
to
the
development of industrial
activities
and
consequent
upon them, parts of the
district have
been subdivided
and built
up
as residence
and
business
districts.
From
the standpoint of the industries requiring large
ground
space,
It is fortunate that subdivision
and residential development
did
not
precede them.
One
of the chief requirements of the iron
and steel industry
was facilities
for receiving ore
by boat.
There
were no
natural
harbors
on the lake front,
and the mouth of the Calumet
River
required
extensive improvement
before it was accessible even to
small
lake
boats. The low
shore, the
shallow
water fronting it,
and
the character
of the materials
underlying both the land and
the lake,
unconsolidated
sand
and
clay till, made the digging of
II
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
12
IRON
AND STEEL INDUSTRY OF THE CALUMET DISTRICT
[192
artificial
harbors and
canals,
and the building
of breakwaters,
relatively easy
and
inexpensive.
The
district, located
at
the
southern extremity
of Lake
Michigan, lies
athwart the route
inevitably followed
by a number
of railroads
to
Chicago from
the east and
southeast. The indus-
trialists,
once their attention was drawn
to the district, recog-
nized
the
value of
its
existing
transportation facilities
by rail,
and
its
potential
facilities
by
lake, for
the
reception
of
coal, ore, and
limestone,
and
for the distribution of iron
and
steel or other
manufactured
products.
Around
the
production
and
fabrication of iron
and
steel
almost
the
entire
economic structure of
the
district has been built.
The
smelting of
iron
ore,
the
conversion
of
the
molten
iron
into
steel,
and
the
rolling of the steel
into rails,
bars, shapes, billets,
etc.,
are
carried
out, in
most
cases,
in the same plant,
the
products
varying
in
different plants according to the degree of
specializa-
tion
carried
on,
and
the market served.
The
chief iron
and
steel
producing plants,
classified according
to
location,
are:
(a)
Lake-side
locations: (west
to east)
I.
Illinois Steel
Company,
South
Chicago
1. Youngstown
Sheet
and
Tube Company, South Chicago
and
Indiana
Harbor
3.
Inland Steel Company, Indiana Harbor
4.
Indiana Steel Company,
Gary
5.
National Tube Company,
Gary^
(b)
Calumet River locations:
(north
to
south)
1. Federal
Furnace
Company, South Chicago
2.
Wisconsin Steel
Company, South Chicago
3.
Interstate
Steel
Company, South Chicago
(c)
Indiana Harbor
Canal location:
I.
Jones
and
Laughlin Steel
Company, Hammond^
By-product coke plants,
which play an
important
part in the
industry and
in the
operation of the
furnaces, are, in most cases,
located
contiguous to the
iron and steel
plants.
The
factories concerned
with the
fabrication of iron
and
steel
are scattered throughout the
district,
but
in most
cases
they are
^Approaching
completion.
^Preparations for construction
in progress.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
193]
INTRODUCTION
13
located
strategically
with
reference to
sources
of
raw
material
and
to
railroad
transportation.
Their
products
are
very
diversified
and
comprise
all types of
manufactured
iron and
steel
goods,
espe-
cially
those
chiefly
in demand
in the
territory
served by
Chicago,
such as
machinery,
agricultural
implements,
cars,
locomotives,
wire
products, and
structural
steel.
Like the
blast
furnaces
and
steel
mills, these
plants require
large sites.
This is
particularly
true of those
plants
concerned
with
railroad or
structural
equip-
ment, such as
the
American Tank
Car
Company and
the
American
Bridge Company.
Consequently,
the
Calumet
District is
partic-
ularly suitable
for their
location on
account of
the
large
amount
of
available land, as
well
as
because of
supplies
of
raw
material
produced
within
the district,
abundant
transportation
facilities,
and
proximity to
Chicago and the
markets of the
Northern
In-
terior.
Urban
centers have
grown
up
around the
several
groups of
iron
and
steel
plants. In most
cases
these
urban areas
are
separated
by
wide stretches of
vacant land.
Only in the
western
part of the
district is there an
almost
continuous
built-up
area. This
extends
from South
Chicago
to
Blue Island,
and is
concerned
chiefly with
the
fabricating industries,
which occupy that
section of
the
dis-
trict.
Certain
industries,
other than those
concerned
with
the
manufacture
and
fabrication of
iron and steel,
have
been estab-
lished in the
Calumet District and
have
increased its
industrial
importance. The
Bufiington
Portland Cement
plant is the
largest
of its kind in the
country. It is related
closely to
blast
furnace
operations, since slag is one
of the
more
important of
its raw
materials. The oil-refining
industry, carried
on by the
Standard
and
Sinclair Companies
at
Whiting, is very
large.
It functions
under
very favorable conditions.
Abundant land,
just
beyond
the
congested areas, is
available, the
great Chicago
market is at
hand,
and
excellent
railroad
facilities give
access to the
rich
markets of
the
Northern Interior. The Grasselli
Chemical
Company
located
its immense plant at
Hammond for reasons
similar
to
those
that
attracted the oil refineries to
Whiting.
The Calumet
River
has
superseded
the
Chicago
River as
the
chief collecting
and forwarding
point
for
the
grain
movement
from
the Northern
Interior
to
the East.
Rail and
water
transportation
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
14
IRON AND
STEEL INDUSTRY
OF THE CALUMET
DISTRICT
[194
are
excellent, and
there are not
the handicaps to
the business
that
are
inevitable in the
heart of
a
great city.^
The
purpose of this study is to
explain the relation of
the
iron and steel
industry of the Calumet District to
natural
environ-
mental
conditions.
The rapid
development which has taken place in
recent years
is
indicative of
highly favorable conditions for the successful
operation
of iron
and
steel
mills on
a
very large scale. Adequate
areas
of flat
land,
provided with
transportation facilities
which
permit
the
assembling
of raw materials and the
marketing of
finished products
over a wide
area with relative ease, and
an
abundance of suitable
water, in addition to
adequate labor
supplies,
all have proved
great assets.
Although the sources of
ore are dis-
tant, this
material can be obtained
relatively cheaply
owing to lake
transportation facilities.
Coal,
too,
is distant, and
comes
part of
the way or all of the
way
by
rail. This
is the chief
handicap
under
which the Calumet
District labors in
competition with the
Pitts-
burgh Steel
District, but the later
development of
the
former
has
given
it a
more modern
equipment,
permitting the
adoption of the
latest practices
for reducing costs
of
production, and
thus largely,
if not entirely, offsetting the
handicap
with
reference
to
coal.
Within
a
few years the
Calumet
District has risen to
third
place in the United
States as a
producer of
iron
and
steel.
Probably
no
steel
producing district is
more
advantageously
located
with
reference to a
large
and
growing
market. This fact
added
to
the
natural advantages of the
district, makes
the cost
of
production
lower
there
than elsewhere in the
country.
Owing to
artificial
regulations created
by
the
"Pittsburgh
Plus" system
of
basing
prices,
the
natural markets for the
Calumet
products
have
not
been developed
solely for
the
advantage of
that district.
The
elimination of
these restrictions
should
cause a
big
increase of
production in
the Calumet
District
at
the
expense
of the Pitts-
burgh District. The
general opinion,
as
expressed by the
press
and
officials
throughout
the
Calumet District,
points
to
great
industrial
expansion
there in the next
few years.
South
Chicago,
Gary, Hammond,
Indiana
Harbor, and
other cities,
all anticipate
a
very rapid
growth,
owing
to
their
strategic
location
with reference
'For a
full discussion
of
the
grain trade, see
Hartshorne,
R., The
Lake
Traffic
oj
Chicago.
(Doctor's
Dissertation
at the
University
of Chicago,
1924).
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
195]
INTRODUCTION I5
to the
western and
northwestern markets. Present
indications
point to the
influx of
many Pittsburgh
and
Youngstown
fabricat-
ing
companies into the
Calumet District
and
therefore to
an in-
creased
local demand
for iron
and steel.
The
conclusions
reached in
this
investigation may be
sum-
marized as
follows:
1.
The
manufacture of
iron
and steel
in the Calumet
District
represents an
effective adjustment to local and
regional equip-
ment,
(i)
An abundance
of vacant,
flat
land,
available to the
industry in large blocks at
relatively low prices; a
lake front which,
though
devoid of good
natural harbors,
could
be
readily
improved
for commerce because
of the
character
of the
terrane, and
along
which
new land
could be built with
slag in the shallow
off-shore
waters; the ease and
low cost with which the
enormous
volume
of
pure water
required by the industry could be provided;
and
proximity to Chicago,
with its abundant supply of
labor
and
its
commercial facilities, have proved to be
the chief advantages
of the
local
equipment.
(2)
The ability both to assemble
in the district
the requisite
raw materials of the industry at
reasonable costs
and to distribute
widely
its
manufactured products,
together with
those of the dependent
fabricating
plants, is
the outstanding
regional advantage. Ore,
limestone,
and coal
(in
part)
are
brought
at
low rates in vessels
which themselves represent
an
adjustment
to conditions of the Great
Lakes,
and are handled at the
terminals
by
machinery
designed to
permit
the
accumulation
of the
maxi-
mum tonnage in the season of navigation. Unsurpassed
rail
facilities
are
insured by the many railroads which converge
upon
Chicago.
2. Within the district, the
urban
centers
and
the
fabricating
plants are grouped near the iron
and steel mills. The
latter adjoin
the waterways, the Lake or the lower
Calumet
River, upon
which
they are so
dependent.
Present indications
point to
urban develop-
ment in the pleasant morainic
lands along the southern
margin of
the district, leaving the unattractive
lands which are
still vacant
on the lacustrine plain for future
industrial development.
3.
The significant fact that
the cost
of
producing
iron
and
steel
in
the Calumet District
is
lower
than anywhere else in
the country
is
attributable
to
the advantages
of the district already
noted,
to the
very modern character
of its plants,
and
to the
highly
scientific
methods employed
there.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
l6
IRON
AND
STEEL
INDUSTRY OF
THE
CALUMET
DISTRICT
[196
4.
The
"Pittsburgh
Plus"
system of
basing
prices restricted
production
in
the
Calumet
District,
since because
of it,
eastern
producers
shared
on
equal
terms the natural
market of
the
Calumet
producers.
Its
recent
elimination should
permit the
free
operation
of
geographic
and
economic
factors. It seems
highly
probable,
as
a
result,
that
the
Calumet District
will
become the
chief
iron
and
steel-producing
center
in the
country.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
PART
I
THE
PRODUCTION OF
IRON AND STEEL
IN THE CALUMET
DISTRICT
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
CHAPTER I
THE
MAGNITUDE
AND CHARACTER
OF THE
INDUSTRY
Approximately
21
per cent of the output of iron and steel
in the
United
States is
produced in the Calumet
District. This produc-
tive capacity
has
been
achieved
in
a
remarkably short
time,
and
if the
rate of
increase from
1908
to
1923
is maintained,
the ultimate
supremacy
of this district
over
the
Pittsburgh District is
assured
in
the not distant future.^
The
Local Significaxce of the
Industry
The production of
iron
and
steel is the most
significant in-
dustry in
the Calumet
District, not
by
reason
of the value of its
products, nor
because of
numbers of men employed,
but because it
forms
the basis
of
the great
fabricating industries
which have
grown up
around
the
iron
and steel
mills. A
survey of the dis-
trict
shows
how closely most of its
economic development
is re-
lated
to the
different
phases of the
iron
and steel
industries
which
form
the chief outlet for labor in almost every
community in
the
district. Gary
and Indiana
Harbor
are exclusively "steel"
towns.
They
were founded by the steel interests to serve the steel
in-
dustries, and few other manufacturing activities have been
started
in
them. A glance through the
lists
of industries carried
on in the
various
cities in
the
Calumet District
shows the
preponderance
of
those whose
basic
raw material
is some
form
of
iron or steel.
The Status
of
the
Calumet District with Reference
to
THE Northern Interior
and the United
States
The Calumet
District is the chief
iron
and steel
producing
center
in the
Northern
Interior.
The concentration
of the
in-
dustry can
be shown more easily through the medium
of the blast
furnaces than
by
steel mills
since it is less
difficult to
trace the
movement
of iron ore than that
of pig
iron. The size of the
oper-
ation,
the
high
cost of
building
blast furnaces, and
the
necessity
for
large
scale production,
exclude the erection of
small
furnaces.
^Federal
Trade Commission,
Docket
760,
p.
133.
19
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
20
IRON
AND
STEEL INDUSTRY
OF
THE CALUMET
DISTRICT
[200
Out
of a
total of forty-eight furnaces
in the Northern Interior,
thirty-seven are concentrated
in the
Calumet
District.^
This
concentration
is further
shown by the consumption of
iron ore. In
1922,
the Calumet District
received over
8,000,000
tons, out
of a
total
importation
by Illinois and Indiana of a little
more than
9,000,000
tons.
The map (Fig.
2)
showing the movement and distribution of
Lake Superior
Iron
Ore indicates the tonnage
received at
the
various consuming centers in
1924.
The significance of the Calumet
District in contrast with other smelting centers in the Northern
Interior
is
clearly
shown.
Receipts
of ore by
Calumet
ports are
shown
in
Table I. All of these receipts are utilized in the immediate
TABLE I*
Receipts
of Iron
Ore
at Calumet Ports,
1901-1925
(Millions
of Tons)
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
201
]
THE
MAGNITUDE AND CHARACTER OF THE
INDUSTRY
21
vicinity, with
the exception of
the
relatively
small amounts sent
to
the
four furnaces at
Joliet,
which are supplied
from South
Chicago.
The
rapid upward trend,
especially since
1908,
when
the
Gary mills
began
to
function, is very
noticeable in spite of the wide
fluctuations
from year to year. The year
1925
was a
record for the
Calumet District, and
the impending
completion of the National
Tube
Mills
at
Gary should lead to a further
increase
in ore receipts.
Since
the bulk of the iron
produced at the present time is
converted into steel
in
its
molten
state, most of the blast furnace
establishments form a part of
the
steel mills, in order that
the
iron
may be
utilized
as
soon as it leaves the blast furnace. In this
way
the expense
of re-heating is avoided, and the
cost of producing
steel
materially lowered.
In Indiana,
95%
of
the
iron
is delivered
in a
molten state to the steel
mills, in Illinois,
76%.^ The difference
can
be
explained by the fact
that two large
blast furnace
establish-
ments in Illinois have no steel departments and all their
product
is sold
in the form of pig
iron."*
The concentration of large steel mills
corresponds closely
with
that of the blast
furnaces, but there
also are numerous small
steel plants,
scattered
throughout Illinois
and
Indiana,
because this
branch
of the industry can be
carried
out on a small scale. These
smaller plants can produce steel ingots
from
scrap, or from
pig
iron
and scrap
combined. Consequently,
they
need
not
be located
near
the blast furnaces. Examples
of these can be found
at
Chicago
Heights,
East
Chicago, Terre Haute,
and elsewhere. It
is not
possible
to
discover the
total production of such plants, since
no
separate statistics
are given.
A number of the present large
scale
producers
in the
Calumet
District began
operations in just such
a
small
way.
In
most cases they
produced
crucible
steel, and,
in
more recent
times, some electric steel,
since the methods of pro-
ducing
both these
types
are
suited
to
small scale operations.
The productive
capacity
of
the
steel
mills
can be
used to show
the importance
of
the Calumet
District in the Northern Interior,
since it is impossible
to
obtain
figures
of
actual production. The
steel
plants
in the Calumet District
have a capacity of
8,545,935
tons per
year. This is
divided among six plants. The
outstanding
^U. S. Census
Report,
191
9,
IX,
p.
391.
^a. The
Iroquois Iron Company,
at South Chicago, produces pig Iron
for the
use of the
Youngstown
Sheet and Tube Company at Indiana Harbor,
b. The Federal
Furnace
Company, South Chicago.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
22
IRON
AND
STEEL INDUSTRY
OF
THE
CALUMET
DISTRICT
[202
feature
is
the
enormous productive
power of two of the plants,
one of
them
at
Gary and one
at
South
Chicago,
operated by
the
Indiana
Steel
Company and the Illinois
Steel Company respective-
ly.
Together these
have
a capacity of over
5,000,000
tons,
or more
than
60%
of
the
total productive capacity
of the group. Of the
others,
that of the Inland Steel
Company comes next with
1,000,000
tons, and that
of the Youngstown Sheet
and
Tube Com-
pany
third with about
700,000
tons. The two remaining plants
are
much
smaller. The actual production of all
the plants of the
district
in
1923
was about
6,000,000
tons, roughly,
22%
of the
total
output
for
the
United
States.^
Illinois and
Indiana
have
a
productive
capacity
of
5,710,425
tons and
5,500,915
tons respectively, or a total of
11,211,340
tons.
Of this
amount
the Calumet District possesses approximately
70%.
About
half
the productive
power
of Illinois, and
86%
of that of
Indiana, is
concentrated in
the
Calumet District.
The
importance of this industry as
compared with other
types
of
manufacturing
in Illinois
and
Indiana can be seen
readily
by
comparing the
number of
workers employed.
In
1919,
Illinois
had
753,458
wage
earners
engaged
in
manufacturing
and
other
mechanical industries.
Of these,
95,048,
or
12%,
were employed
in
the
iron
and
steel
industry,
2,129
i^
connection with blast
furnaces,
and
20,177
in steel
mills
and
rolling establishments.
The
remaining
72,742
were employed
in fabricating industries
which depended
upon blast
furnaces
and
steel
mills for
their
raw
materials.
Similarly, out of
331,
484
engaged
in the same
group
of
industries,
Indiana had
60,871,
or
18%,
in
iron
and steel
plants,
the
former
employing
1,368
and
the
latter
22,362.
The
remaining
37,141
were employed
in
iron
and steel
fabricating plants.^
^Steel
Ingot
Capacity—
Calumet District
1924
(Thousands of Tons)
Illinois
Steel Company
2,975
Indiana Steel
Company
2,450
Inland
Steel
Company
1,000
Youngstown
Sheet
and Tube Company
700
Wisconsin Steel
Company
400
Interstate
Steel
Company
225
Based
on the
Report of the
Federal Trade
Commission,
Docket
740,
Exhibit
6858.
«[/.
S.
Census
Report,
191
9.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
203]
THE MAGNITUDE AND
CHARACTER OF
THE INDUSTRY
23
In
1920,
the eight blast furnace and steel
mill establishments
located
in the
Calumet
District gave
employment, on the average,
to 20,000
men. These
represented
about
43%
of
the total number
engaged
in this
industry in Illinois
and Indiana,
or approximately
5%
of the total for the United States.
In the United States as a
whole,
the
Calumet District ranks
third in the
production
of
iron
and steel,
Pennsylvania
and Ohio
being first and second, respectively.^
Although there
have been
marked fluctuations in production
from year
to
year, owing
to
market conditions, there has been a definite and marked increase,
especially since
1908
when the Gary
mills
were built. The out-
standing facts gained
from
a study of the statistics are, (i)
the
predominance of the
Pittsburgh District
in
all
phases of iron
and
steel production,
(2)
the
relatively small part
of the total which
the Calumet District produces,
(3)
the fact that capacity
produc-
tion in
the
Calumet District in contrast with
that
in
the leading
district
is in
process of
considerable extension.
The consumption of iron ore is a first rate indication
of the
relative importance
of
the Calumet District compared
with
the
eastern centers. Table II
shows the total shipments of ore from
the
Lake
Superior Region
and
the
amounts received at the Calumet
ports. From this it
will
be seen that these received one-fourth
of
the
total ore moved in
1925,
and
a little
less than that proportion
in
1923.
In
1921
it was one-fifth,
and
in
1919,
one sixth.
These
"The
Iron and
Steel industry of Illinois,
Iitdiana, Ohio, and Pennsyl-
vania,
is
concentrated
into three districts which
do
not coincide
with political
boundaries, namely:
(i) Western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio
—the Pittsburgh-Cleve-
land District.
(2)
Eastern
Pennsylvania
—the
Bethlehem
District.
(3)
Indiana-Illinois—the Calumet District.
No figures are
available which
will permit a comparison
of production
under
this grouping.
The United States
Census Reports do not
differentiate
between
eastern
and western Pennsylvania. Consequently,
the
Calumet
District has been compared with Pennsylvania and Ohio separately.
The consumption of iron ore by districts, in
1922,
was
as
follows:
(i) Pittsburgh-Cleveland District
39,800,000
tons
(2)
Bethlehem District
13,300,000
tons
(3)
Calumet District
9,000,000
tons
These figures justify the statement that the Calumet District ranks
third in
the United States in the production of
iron
and
steel.
Based on data published
by the
Lake Superior Iron Ore Association,
1923.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
24
IRON AND STEEL
INDUSTRY
OF THE
CALUMET DISTRICT
[204
TABLE
II*
Total
Shipments of
Lake
Superior
Ore and Receipts
AT Calumet Ports,
1901-1925
(Millions
of Tons)
Year
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
20!
THE MAGNITUDE
AND CHARACTER OF
THE
INDUSTRY
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
26
IRON
AND
STEEL INDUSTRY OF THE CALUMET
DISTRICT
[206
of pig
iron
in
the
various districts of
the United States
in
1921
than
in
1914.
Illinois-Indiana
showed
a
slight
increase. The
total value
of the
product
of
Illinois-Indiana
was
$77,000,000
which was
approximately
two-thirds that of Ohio and one-half
that
of
Pennsylvania.
In
1923,
the production in Illinois-Indiana was
twice that
of
1914,
while the increase in Pennsylvania and
in
Ohio,
though
large,
was
less
striking.
It
will
be
noticed
from
the
figures in Table
III
that many more
wage
earners
are
employed in steel and
rolling mills than in blast
furnace
plants.
This is due
to the
nature of the industry
and
the
number of
processes
through which the steel passes
before it
emerges
in
merchantable
forms. The actual
making
of the
steel
is
only
one
phase of
the industry.
The
three- or four-ton ingots
pass
immediately
to the
blooming and
rolling mills for conversion
into
the
forms
in
which the steel
reaches its markets.
Billets must
be
rolled,
cut,
rolled, and
re-rolled into
shapes, before they
leave
the
mill. The
processes
are almost
continuous, one following the
other
with a
minimum of delay.
Hence the
number of men em-
ployed
is
large
compared
with the
number needed
in
a
blast
fur-
nace
plant.
In
1
921,
there
were
three times as
many men
employed in
blast
furnace
plants in
Pennsylvania
as
in Illinois-Indiana, and
four
times
as
many
in steel
mills, while
Ohio employed
more than
twice as
many
in both
branches of
the industry (Table
III).
There
are
marked
fluctuations in
the numbers
from year
to
year^
but
it should
be
noted
that
Illinois-Indiana shows a
slight increase
in
1921
over
1914,
and a
very
much
greater one in
1923.
The great
additions
made to
almost
all
the plants
there in
191
9
were
in part,
if
not
altogether,
responsible
for the
increase.
The
numbers
employed
indicate
clearly
the
trends
of
pro-
duction.
In
1921,
the
Illinois-Indiana
output of steel,
also, was
greater
than
in
1914.
An
examination of
the
earlier
figures
for this
district
shows a
consistent
increase
with much less
fluctuation
than
occurred
in
Ohio
or
Pennsylvania.
In
1921,
Ohio produced
less
than 1,000,000
tons
more
than
Illinois-Indiana, while
Pennsyl-
vania
produced
3,000,000
tons
more. It
is
noteworthy
to
re-
member
that at least
70%
of the
3,947,731
tons produced
in
Illi-
nois-Indiana
was
contributed
by the
Calumet District.
In
1923,.
the
output
of steel
in
Illinois-Indiana
increased
100%.
Elsewhere
the
increase
was
relatively
smaller.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
20/]
THE
MAGNITUDE
AND
CHARACTER OF
THE INDUSTRY
2/
The
influence of the war period,
as
shown by the
figures
of
1
91 9,
with its
high prices and its high costs of
labor and of ma-
terials, is
evident
from
the
much
higher
value
of
the products
compared with
1914.
This was due to the
increased demand
which
resulted
in higher prices
and increased
production. The
value of the
Illinois-Indiana production amounted
to
about one-
third
of the
Pennsylvania production
and
two-thirds of that of
Ohio.
In
1923,
the
value of steel produced in Illinois-Indiana
was
more
than double that
of
1921
and
four times that of
1914
(Table
III).
The
growing significance of the
Calumet District
as a
pro-
duction center for
iron
and steel is
very evident. Extensions
are
In progress in every plant
in
the
district. New furnaces
for
the
production of iron and steel
are being
added.
The new
National
Tube plant at
Gary
is
being constructed rapidly.
Other new
plants are being considered.
Jones
and
Laughlin of
Pittsburgh
have purchased
2,000
acres
for
a
$100,000,000
steel
plant
at
Hammond, adjoining the Indiana
Harbor Canal. The Inland
Steel Company
has
purchased
540
acres,
adjoining 100 acres which
it had
previously acquired near
Gary,
in
order
to
provide for
future
expansion. The Aetna
Iron
and
Steel
Company also has
bought
400
acres at
Gary for a steel mill.
Several eastern steel-
fabricating companies own large sites in the district
which
they
are
holding for future development. All of these projected
plants
will
derive
the
major
part of
their raw material
from
the
local
steel
mills. There
seems to
be abundant evidence for
believing
that this district is destined
to become a second "Pittsburgh"
in
the
iron
and steel
Industry of the United States.
The
Development in the Calumet District Accompanied
THE Decline in Chicago
Prior
to the
founding
of the
South
Chicago
works
of
the Illi-
nois
Steel Company
at the mouth of the
Calumet River in
1880,
there
was no industrial development In the district at
all. Until
that time the iron
industry in this part of the
country had been
concentrated along
the Chicago River near the
heart of the city.
It
had developed
from
the small foundries which
were built
beside
that
navigable
waterway in
1839.^
With the
increasing
^Andreas, A. T.,
History oj Chicago, I,
p. 567.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
28
IRON
AND
STEEL
INDUSTRY OF THE
CALUMET
DISTRICT
[208
demand
for
products
of
iron and steel, these
industries
expanded
rapidly.
The
great
railroad building era of the 1850's
and
i86o's
had
encouraged
the
building of rolling mills
for
the
production
of
iron
rails.
The
local demand
for iron together
with the
suitability
of
the
high
grade
Brazil
block
coal of
Indiana
for smelting the
Lake
Superior
iron
ore which had
become
available because
of the open-
ing of
the
Soo
Canal in
1855,
was
responsible for the
building
of
the
first
blast
furnaces
in
1868.^
Previously all the pig
iron
had
been
imported
from the
East.
The success of
these first local
furnaces
encouraged
the
erection
of others,
for the rapidly
filling
Northern
Interior
constituted
a
rapidly
increasing market for all
forms
of
iron, and,
as
railroad
building
progressed, a
wider and
wider
area
became
tributary to
Chicago.
With the
adoption
of the
Bessemer
process by
the
Chicago
Rolling
Mill
Company
in
1872,
the
industry
received a
still greater
impetus.
Railroads
made
the greatest
demands
on the
products of
the
rolling
mills
by
their rapid
adoption
of steel
rails
in place of
iron
rails.
As
early as
1876,
Chicago
produced
85,000
tons of steel
rails,
which
were
almost
one-third the
total,
290,000
tons,
for the
United
States.^"
It was to
meet
the
demands
for
steel
and
for in-
creased
production
that the
first
Calumet
plant was
built
in
1880.
From its
very
inception its
main
product was steel
and not
iron
as in
the case
of the
Chicago plants.
The
South Chicago
mill was
planned
on a
very
much
larger scale
than the
other plants
in the
city.
This was
practicable
since it
was located
in an
almost empty
area
where
there
was
abundant space
for
industrial
expansion,
unhampered
by
urban
development.
After
1880,
the iron and steel
industry
in the Calumet
District
grew in size and
scope,
while it
gradually declined
along the Chi-
cago
River.
At the
present time
there is
no
iron or
steel
smelted
along
the Chicago
River, The old sites
are
used
for
other purposes
more
suited
to congested
urban areas.
The
Calumet District,
on
the
other hand,
has
offered such
material
advantages that
it has
become the
center of
iron and steel
production
in the
Northern
Interior and
the
third largest
producer
in America.
'Andreas, A. T.,
op.
cit., II,
p. 674.
^mid..
Ill,
p. 471.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
Th£ (80N AND 5rE£i Plants
CftLVMBT District
Figure 1
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
209]
the magnitude and
character of
the
industry
29
The
Distribution of Iron and Steel
Plants
Within
the
Calumet
District
Two
types
of location are utilized
as
sites
for
iron and
steel
mills
in the Calumet District. Six plants are to
be found
on
the
Lake
Shore, and three along
the
improved lower
course
of the
Calumet River (Fig.
i).
Lake
Shore Locations.—
By
far
the
largest land
holding
along
the
lake shore is that
of the
United States
Steel
Corporation
owned through
the medium of
its subsidiary, the
Indiana
Steel
Company.
The
property
extends
along the entire
shore
from the
corporate limits of Indiana
Harbor to the eastern limits
of the
site occupied
by the
Gary
National
Tube Mills.
The whole of it
comes
within the
corporate limits
of
Gary. The eastern
part of the
property is occupied by the
famous Gary Steel Mills and
by the
new National Tube
Mills,
which
are approaching
completion.
The former are
primarily
producers of steel, and
the
latter also
will give their
main
attention
to
this phase of the
industry.
Three
fabricating plants are located in the western
part
of the
property.
The American Sheet
and
Tin Plate Company
and
the
American
Bridge Company are purely
steel
fabricating plants, dependent
upon the steel mills for their raw material.
Just
within the western
limits
of the
property are
the
Buffington Portland Cement
Works,
which were
designed to
utilize
the slag
from
the steel
mills
for
the
production
of cement. This is in essence
a
by-product
industry.
Much
land between the various plants is vacant, and is held
in
order
to accommodate the future expansion of the
Corporations'
activities,
and, at the same time, to prevent other interests from
getting
a footing in that section
of
the lake front.
In
its
original
condition
the site occupied by
the steel
mills
was purely
a waste
of
dune
and
swamp. It
has
been developed
at great
expense on
an
enormous
scale in the most
modern
and
scientific
manner.
When
the United
States
Steel
Corporation
planned
to extend
its capacity
by building
a
large plant in
the
neighborhood of
Chicago,
certain minimum
requirements
were laid down
regarding
the
choice
of the
site. Its agents sought a moderately priced
and
compact
tract
of land centrally located in the Northern Interior,
which
provided
a lake harbor with sufficient
depth of
water to
accommodate
the
largest lake
vessels
in the ore fleet,
together
with
adequate
railroad
facilities.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
30
IRON AND STEEL
INDUSTRY
OF THE
CALUMET
DISTRICT
[210
It happened that,
in the
late
1890's,
the
Meat Packing
inter-
ests of
Chicago
were in
conflict
with
the
civic authorities,
who
complained
of the
nuisance
created by
the
odors, of
the pollution
of
the river,
and of other
disadvantages
resulting from
the location
of
that
type of
industry in one
of the
more
congested
parts of the
city.
Accordingly,
the companies
concerned
combined
to purchase
6,000
acres in
one block
in the Calumet
District,
on the
lake
shore, far
removed from
the then
settled sections, with
a view
to moving
their
whole
business away from
the city.
Their
purchase
consisted
of
desolate swamp
and dune
land located on
the site of the Gary
steel
mills
and
the associated fabricating
plants. The
conflict
was
settled amicably
and the Meat Packing interests
remained in
Chi-
cago. In
1906,
this lake
shore property
was purchased
en bloc by
the
United States Steel Corporation.
The property
conformed in
most
respects
to the requirements
laid down
for
the selection of
a
mill
site.
There was no harbor, but
one could
be
constructed
with
relative
ease.
In
other
respects no
better
selection
could have been
made. To have
purchased
a
large
area
like this, in
small lots,
would
have created
a
land
boom,
and
prices
would have soared. As it
was,
the deal
was completed In one operation. The price per
acre
was
in terms
of hundreds of dollars, when
under the other conditions
it
would
have been very
much higher.
It is interesting
to com-
pare
this transaction with the recent purchase
by the
Jones
and
Laughlin
Steel
Company, from
the East Chicago Land Company
and
the State of Indiana. This site, being swamp land,
had
not
been
subdivided, and hence it was possible to purchase
a
large
acreage
in one block.
^^
The
oldest established
shore location is that occupied
by
the
plant
of the Illinois Steel
Company
at
South Chicago.
The first
establishment on this site was the
South Works of
the North
Chicago
Rolling
Mill
Company, built in
1880 on
a
sandy beach on
the north
side of
the
mouth
of the
Calumet
River. This particular
site
was
chosen because of its
proximity to navigable water, in
an
area
which was
then outside the
city limits. Even
before
1880,
the
company
had
realized the disadvantages
of being located in the
heart
of Chicago, and its
migration
to
the Calumet District was
a
natural
move. The site
chosen there was
worthless for agriculture,
but from
the
point of view of
the steel
smelter
it
was
a
very
good
"P^p in Calumet,
Hammond Chamber of Commerce,
Oct.-Nov.,
1924.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
21 l]
THE
MAGNITUDE AND CHARACTER
OF
THE INDUSTRY
3
I
one.
It also
afforded ample
space
for
future expansion. Indeed,
with the
later
improvement of
the harbor and river,
and the
dredging
of the
north and south
slips, this became an excellent
location.
The
expansion of Chicago
has limited
the possibilities
for
enlarging
the
site
of the plant on
the landward
side,
although
in
1880 the
owners considered they
had a site large enough
for all
time. They did
not realize
what enormous growth
was to take
place in the
industry. By
1906,
most of the land
that
had
been
acquired had
been occupied
and
further
expansion
was only possi-
ble
by
the acquisition of
a
new holding.
The plant of the
Iroquois
Company was established
in the
i88o's on the south side of
the Calumet River,
just above
the
mouth.
The original plant still
stands
on
the old site, and is closely
surrounded by small iron and
steel fabricating plants. It is
used
only occasionally for experimental
purposes. The superior
ad-
vantages
of a
location
at
the mouth of
the river were quickly
real-
ized, and in the
1890's
the
Iroquois
Company
erected a new plant
on the south side of the entrance to the river,
opposite the Illinois
Steel Plant.
This site was larger, more
easily accessible from
the
lake, and also offered all the advantages
of a lake shore
location.
Since then, the
plant
has changed ownership
twice. The American
Steel and Tube Company first
incorporated it with
its plant
at
Indiana Harbor,
and in
1923,
both were absorbed
by the Youngs-
town Sheet and Tube Company.
Expansion
of the site on the land-
ward side early became impossible
because of
urban development.
What vacant shore land
remained was either
dedicated
to
park
purposes by the civic authorities,
or became
subdivided
to such
a degree that additional
land was much
too expensive
to buy for
industrial purposes.
Two
plants occupy shore
positions
at Indiana Harbor. The
Inland Steel
Company
first occupied
this section
of the
lake
shore in
1905.
It was
the nearest
site to Chicago
that could be
obtained. Originally
there
was
no
harbor,
but
it was easy
to
dredge a slip in
the loose
lacustrine
and glacial material.
This was
completed
in
1906,
and gave
adequate harbor
facilities to the ex-
panding
local
industry.
As
a result,
this
part
of the Calumet
District
was
placed on
terms of
equality
with South Chicago.
The Inland
Steel
Company
developed
rapidly
after this improve-
ment,
and became
the
largest
independent
producer in
the
North-
ern
Interior.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
32
IRON
AND STEEL INDUSTRY OF THE
CALUMET
DISTRICT
[212
In
1
91
6,
the
American Sheet
and
Tube
Company,
which
had
been established
for some
years
at
Chicago
Heights, migrated
to
the north side of
the slip
which
formed
the
harbor,
where a
new plant was
built with
a
lake
frontage
of
6,000
feet.
It
enjoyed
the
same facilities as its
neighbor,
and its rise
was similarly rapid.
In
1923,
it
was taken over by the
Youngstown
Sheet
and
Tube
Company,
and it
now forms
a part of that large
organization.
River Locations.
—Three
plants are
located on the improved
section
of the Calumet River in the neighborhood
of io6th
Street.
These
are all within the corporate limits
of Chicago,
although
when
they were first
built
the city had not
spread so
far
east. All
these
river
positions have
been
used
for
a
comparatively
long
period. The reasons why the founders chose the particular
sites
can only be surmised. The history
of
the plants
erected there is
very
obscure,
as they have
changed
hands
a
number
of
times.
There
seems to be no doubt that they were founded in
the
1890's,
after the
river
had been somewhat improved. They were
located
near the margin
of
urban settlement, since the means
of
com-
munication were
such
that
close
proximity to
a
built up area
ensured a satisfactory
labor supply.
The river provided connec-
tion with
the
lake,
and its
subsequent improvement
has
given
these plants similar advantages with regard to
lake transportation
and
water supply
as
are enjoyed by lake shore plants.
Originally,
the site of the Wisconsin
Steel plant
was occupied
by
a
small iron company with one hand-filled
furnace.
This
concern
was purchased
in
1901
by some of
the
members of the
Deering
family, who were interested
in
the
manufacture of agri-
cultural implements. When they formed the
Internat onal
Har-
vester
Company,
the
iron plant was affiliated with that
organiza-
tion in order to supply it
with iron
and
steel
for
the
manufacture
of agricultural machinery.
Since
that
time the plant has
been
enlarged,,
but it
maintains this intimate
connection with the
fabricating company,
which
consumes the
bulk
of its
products.
The Federal
Furnace
Company is located
on
the
east side of
the Calumet
River,
opposite the Wisconsin
Steel plant.
At
the
present
time it is a subsidiary of
the By-product
Coke Corporation.
The site was chosen in the 1890's,
when
a
small
furnace company
was founded. From
191
2 to
191
5 it was
operated by
Pickands
Mather Company, who have
extensive iron mines in the
superior
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
213]
THE
MAGNITUDE
AND
CHARACTER OF THE INDUSTRY
33
region.
In
191 5,
it
was amalgamated with the By-product Coke
Corporation,
but it was operated
as a separate
unit until
1922,
when control
was centralized.
The
Interstate
Iron
and Steel Company
originated at East
Chicago
in
1905,
as
a
small crucible
steel producing concern.
From
this inland site it
migrated
to navigable water
by
purchasing
the steel
plant of the Grand Crossing Tack Company,
which was
located
half
a
mile above that of the Wisconsin Steel
Company.
In addition to
the advantage of accessibility from
the lake, the
acquired property had good
railroad connection with
the
com-
pany's
tack plant at
Grand Crossing, well inside the
city limits.
The sites occupied
by the two last named plants
are
com-
paratively small,
but well in excess of present
needs.
'^
Modern
Methods and
Equipment
Reduce
Costs of Production
Modern
equipment, and the application
of
up-to-date
methods,
have
made it
possible for
producers in the Calumet
Dis-
trict to reduce
their
costs of production to such
an extent
that
they
have
overcome
the disadvantage of the high
cost of bringing
coal from eastern
Kentucky
and West Virginia.
This has
been
accomplished
chiefly
by the
careful
utilization
of
by-products
which could be substituted
for
coal. In turn, large
scale produc-
tion
with
modern equipment
has enabled
them to accomplish
this.
Judge
Gary
admitted that costs
of production were
14%
lower
at
Gary than at Pittsburgh, and the
Federal Trade
Commission
at
the
hearing on
"Pittsburgh
Plus"
conclusively
verified
this
statemerjt.
In
1920,
the Calumet
District
produced
456,308
tons,
or
40%
tjf the total United
States tonnage
of structural
shapes,
at a cos^ of
$42,825
per
gross ton.
The Pittsburgh
District
pro-
duced
56.2%
at
$52,207
per ton.
The Calumet
District
thus
had
the advantage
of
$9,342
per ton.
This
represents
a difference
in costs
of
18%
in favor of the latter.
In
the
case of plates,
the
Calumet District
manufactured
664,602
tons, or
32.7%
of
the
total output
of the country,
at an advantage
of
1.5%
lower
cost.
In the
same
year
839,270
tons
of merchant
bars, or
35.7%
of the
^^For
much of the above
information
the
writer
is indebted
to the
officials
of
thepvajious companies.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
34
IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY
OF THE
CALUMET
DISTRICT
[214
United States production
(2,347,913
tons)
were made in the
Calumet District
at
?4.638
per
ton
less than in the Pittsburgh
District. These two centers
produce
all
the black
sheets
that are
made
in the country,
but
costs are
9.3%
lower
in the
Calumet
District. The
latter
has an advantage
over
the Pittsburgh Dis-
trict
in the
cost
of
producing
these four
commodities
of
14.5%
(Table IV).
In fact,
steel can be produced
cheaper in
the Calumet
District than anywhere
else
in the
country.
The highly effective
organization
of the industry there,
the modern
equipment em-
ployed, and the proximity
to Chicago, are among
the outstanding
advantages
of the
Calumet District.
The Dominant Feature
of the Industry Is
Large Scale Production
Large
scale modern units predominate in
the Calumet Dis-
trict.
They represent the results of consolidations
and
mergers.
The development
of
large
scale
production
requires an enormous
outlay of
capital, since the equipment of an iron
and steel plant is
particularly expensive.
The
nature
of the industry requires
a
large
acreage, which entails considerable initial outlay. The
recent
expenditure of
the
Jones
and
Laughlin Steel Company
illustrates
this fact.
The desire of the different corporations to
control
large re-
serves of raw material
has
been responsible in part for
a
number
of
mergers,
since by amalgamating individual properties the
resources for future
use by the
combined companies are
better
assured. The recent merger of the American Sheet and Tube Com-
pany with the Youngstown Sheet
and
Tube Company is an illus-
tration of this tendency. The
Inland Steel Company has been
attempting
a
similar union with both
Eastern and Middle West
interests.
Most of the producers in the
Calumet District
already form
units
of some
larger organizations. Thus the
Illinois Steel
Company
and Indiana Steel Company are
subsidiaries of the
United States
Steel Corporation,
the
Wisconsin Steel
Company
is a part of the
International Harvester Company, the
Federal
Furnace Plant
is a
unit
of the
By-products Coke
Corporation, and
the Iroquois
Iron Company,
of the
Youngstown
Sheet
and
Tube
Company.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
215]
THE
MAGNITUDE
AND
CHARACTER OF THE
INDUSTRY
35
as
o
is
"
>o c<
oo
u
O
3
1-1
-Q
O
«
O
CO
oo
O
o
r--
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
36
iron and steel industry
of
the
calumet
district
[216
Products
Iron
and
steel in almost
all their
forms are produced
in
the
Calumet District, but
the
major
interest
is in
steel products,
since
the
demand for
them is
very
much
greater than
that for iron pro-
ducts.
There are two
establishments which
produce
pig iron
only.
The output
of
one
of these, the Iroquois
plant,
is utilized almost
entirely
for steel purposes
by the Youngstown
Sheet
and Tube
Company
at
Indiana Harbor.
The other
establishment,
the
Federal Furnace
Plant, produces pig iron
for sale.
It
makes,
in
accordance
with definite specifications
laid down by
purchasers,
all
grades and
qualities
of pig iron which are included
under the
terms
basic, malleable,
and
foundry. In order
to meet
the re-
quirements of
the
different iron
fabricators,
as
many
as
fifteen
different
grades of ore are
used.
These are
purchased as much for
their
magnesium, phosphorus,
and silica content, as for
the
per-
centage of iron
they
contain, since
the uses to
which
the iron
is
put are determined by
the
quantity
of each of these substances.
Thus
a
manufacturer
of radiators demands a foundry iron
which
is
high in
phosphorus
and
magnesium, since
these
ingredients
give
the iron fluidity
and greater strength. Many variations are pro-
vided
in
the chemical content of
the
three commercial
types of
pig iron
used. The
production
of
pig iron
for commercial use
entails
very frequent
changes
in
the
mixture which
goes
into
the
furnace.
On the
other
hand, when iron is being produced for steel
purposes
a furnace will run for months on practically the same
mixture.
^^
There
is some
commercial production
of
pig iron
by
the blast
furnaces
attached to the steel mills.
This includes any surplus
that may be made,
and
also
the
Sunday or holiday production of
the blast furnaces,
which is converted
into pigs when the steel
plant
is not working. There are, however,
fewer variations in the
chemical
analysis
of this
pig iron than in the
commercial product,
and
the market
served is
much
less specialized.
The steel
com-
panies
sell pig iron
because they
prefer not
to
re-heat pigs,
for
this
entails
additional cost.
The two most common types
of
steel
are
produced
by the
Open Hearth
and the Bessemer processes.
Each has character-
istics
which make it
suited
to special uses,
but Open
Hearth
steel
is far superior to
the
other for most purposes.
The tensile strength
^^Blast
furnace operations
explained by superintendents.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
217]
THE MAGNITUDE AND CHARACTER OF THE INDUSTRY
37
of
Steel depends
upon its chemical
composition.
By
the Open
Hearth
method this can be controlled accurately during the
"heat."
In the case of Bessemer
steel the product depends to a
much
greater degree upon the qualities
of
the molten iron
used,
as no
changes can be made during
the
conversion. The
demand
for Open Hearth steel has become far greater
than
for
Bessemer,
owing
to
its
greater range
of
use,
and
greater strength,
x^nother
factor
has
been important in connection with
the
production
of
Bessemer steel. This
process
necessitates the use of
a
much
purer
grade of
pig iron
than does
the other. At the present time,
the
supplies of
"Bessemer Ore" are much less
than they were
ten
years
ago. Indeed, the
more accessible deposits
are approaching
exhaus-
tion rapidly. The enormous demand
for
steel has necessitated
the
use of
what
is
known
as
"Non-Bessemer Ore," which
exists in
much greater quantities,
and
the product
from
this is quite
suit-
able
for
use
in Open Hearth furnaces. Hence there
has been
a
decline in the production
of
Bessemer compared with
that of
Open
Hearth
steel. The
figures
in
Table V
show the rapid increase
in the production of the latter in the last
fourteen years.
There seems to be a
general
consensus of
opinion throughout
the Calumet District that the
peak production
of Bessemer steel
was reached some years ago, and that now it is a
declining
indus-
try so far
as
this
district is concerned. Until
1924,
the Wisconsin
Steel Company
produced
only Bessemer
steel, but it has recently
installed an Open Hearth
equipment. The
company
is planning
already
to extend this department in the near
future.
In
1921,
Illinois
and
Indiana
produced
3,947,531
tons
of
steel. Of this total
3,369,653
tons, or
84%,
was made
by the
Open Hearth
process,
and
only
565,839
tons were
Bessemer.
Table V shows
the production of these two
states
for
a
number
of
years and the trend
both in type
and
tonnage can be clearly
seen.
Another important
factor which has affected the
production
of Open
Hearth
steel
is
the fact that
50%
of
every
"heat" is com-
posed of scrap steel.
The effect of this
is to
halve
the consumption
of pig iron.
Thus
with a given blast furnace equipment,
a steel
company
which
adopts the Open Hearth in place
of the
Bessemer
process, can
double its output of
steel
without any additional pig
iron. This
cuts
down the capital expenditure on the plant
and
at
the same time
fosters larger
production.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
38
IRON
AND
STEEL INDUSTRY
OF
THE
CALUMET
DISTRICT
[218
J
c
PQ
Si:
< n
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
219]
THE
MAGNITUDE AND CHARACTER
OF THE INDUSTRY
39
Most
of the steel leaves the mills
in a finished
or
partly-
finished
form. The ingots in all
cases are rolled into commercial
sizes,
such as
billets,
sheets, blooms,
bars. These serve as the raw
material for a large
number
of steel-fabricating
industries, which
are scattered
over the region which
is served
by
the Calumet
mills. The
bulk of the
steel,
however,
is
converted
into "forms
and shapes"
before it leaves the mill.
Consequently, every
steel
plant has a
more or less complete rolling
establishment
attached
to it, to
which the white-hot ingots
are
taken
as
soon
as they
leave the
moulds. There they are rolled
and cut to size,
and trans-
ferred
to
the finishing mills which roll
them
into
rails,
shapes,
structural steel,
bars, plates, sheets, tubes, etc. In
most
cases,
these
are finished products, ready for immediate
use. In
some
cases,
they pass
on to other departments for
finishing
processes,
such
as
tin plating, or galvanizing. Generally
all these
processes
are
carried out
in the same
plant.
Modern equipment permits the manufacture
of a wide variety
of
different shapes with the same machinery,
since it is a relatively
simple
matter to change the rolls,
and,
therefore,
the form
of the
product.
Thus, for example,
a
rolling mill may
produce rails
in
the
morning
and
structural
shapes in the afternoon
of the same
day.
The percentage of electric
and crucible steel
which is
made in
the
Calumet District is very
small. The
product is
both high
in quality and in
price,
and its use is limited
to certain
Industries
which specialize in the
highest grades
of steel
for
special
tools
and
scientific apparatus. The bulk
of the electric
steel
is produced
by
the Illinois Steel Corporation.
The
small size of
this particular
phase
of
the steel industry
makes
it
suitable
for location
where
there is
a steady local demand for
that particular
type of
product.
In this way, transportation
costs are reduced
to a minimum.
Such plants exist
in a number
of the urban centers,
and
especially
within Chicago.
New York
and other great
eastern centers
figure
much
more
prominently in
this phase
of the steel industry
than
does the
Calumet District. It
is impossible,
from the
available
data, to obtain
detailed
figures of the
production
of
iron
and
steel
by individual
plants
in Illinois
and Indiana.
Consequently,
the
tonnage
of the various
types of
products in the Calumet
District
cannot
be
stated, even
approximately.
Hence, the
discussion
has
been limited
throughout
to the broad
facts
which
could be
deduced
from the
available
material.
The plants
of the
Illinois
Steel
Com-
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
40
IRON
AND
STEEL
INDUSTRY OF THE CALUMET
DISTRICT
[220
pany
and
the
Indiana
Steel Company produce practically
every
form of
steel and
every type of steel
product. Their specialties
consist
of steel
rails, plates, shapes, and
bars. The Wisconsin
Steel
Company, as
already
noted, is
a subsidiary
of the
Inter-
national
Harvester Company, and specializes
in the produc-
tion of steel
for use
in the
manufacture
of
agricultural imple-
ments.
Any
surplus is utilized by
other fabricating plants of a
similar
character. The
Interstate
Steel Company
is
mainly in-
terested
in
serving its own
plant
which specializes in wire products.
The Inland
Steel
Company
produces a
line of goods similar to that
of the
Illinois
Steel Company,
in
which railroad
equipment forms
a
large part. The
Youngstown
Sheet and
Tube
Company,
as its
name
indicates,
is
primarily
interested
in the production of lap
weld
and
butt weld
tubes, of
which it
produces
nearly
400,000
tons
annually. The
surplus
steel is
rolled into
plates
and
sheets.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
sources
or
suppiy.
npproxima.eiy
/370
ui
uic
u.c
-^^
^
^"^
Calumet
District
comes
from
these
more
recently
worked
ranges,
41
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
TW£
Iron rno
SvEtu
Ihdustry
of
ive
Cbiuwct
JJiSTfucr.
The
Sources hno
MoveneNT
OF
IRON
one.
,
COfli.
,
LMEbTTDNS
Figure
2
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
CHAPTER
II
THE LOCATION
OF THE
CALUMET DISTRICT
WITH
REFERENCE TO
AREAS FROM
WHICH
IT
DRAWS
RAW
MATERIALS
The Calumet District
is favorably
situated
with
regard
to
supplies of
raw materials. High
grade
ore, coal,
and limestone
can
be assembled with relative
ease at
reasonable
costs. All lake
borne
materials can
be
unloaded from
boats
directly
on
to the
docks of the
steel
plants. In respect
to
iron ore,
the Calumet
producers have an advantage over those
of
inland centers
in
the
Pittsburgh
District who are obliged to transport their
supplies
a
considerable distance by rail
from
Lake Erie ports.
Iron Ore
ConsiunptioJi and Sources.—
The
Calumet District obtained
over
9,000,000
tons
of
iron ore from
the Lake
Superior region
in
1924.
The mines, in the six
rather
widely separated fields, are re-
latively short
distances
from the lake
ports
(Fig.
1).
In
the east is
the Menominee
field,
which
covers
a wide
area in Wisconsin
and
Michigan.
To the north and west are the
Marquette
and Gogebic
ranges. These three mining areas constitute what
may
be called
the
"hard ore" producers, because the ores
found there are
coarser
and
much
harder than
those found
in the
other areas. They are
generally known
as
the "Old Ranges," since
they were
dis-
covered and worked
first.
The
ore from these ranges is shipped
from Escanaba, Marquette, and Ashland, respectively.
Mining
operations
are
carried out mainly by underground methods,
although there was some
"open
pit"
mining until recent years.
More important
as
producers at
the present
time
than the
"Old Ranges" are the Mesaba, Cuyana, and
Vermillion ranges,
which lie
to
the west and northwest of Lake
Superior. In these
latter ranges the ores are of
a
fine, and more or less
loamy texture.
The bulk of the
product is mined
in open pits, and
the
ease
with
which
a
vast
tonnage is obtained,
together with the
higher
grade of
most
of
the
ore found there, has made
these the
most important
sources
of supply.
Approximately
75%
of the
ore
used
in the
Calumet District
comes from these
more recently
worked ranges,
41
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
42
IRON AND STEEL
INDUSTRY OF THE CALUMET
DISTRICT
[222
90%
of
which is
obtained from the Mesaba Range alone. The
bulk
of
this
ore
is shipped
from Duluth, Superior, and Two
Har-
bors.^
The
Grading
and
Classification
of
Ores.—
Ore is
graded
accord-
ing
to its
composition
and
structure.
The
qualities especially-
desired
are a
high
iron content,
and a
low percentage of
phos-
phorus
and of
water. The price is based on a
theoretical ore
which has a
definite
percentage of each of these constituents.^
Ores
are
first classified
into Bessemer
or
Non-Bessemer; the
former,
if they
contain less
than o.ooi% of phosphorus
per i%
of
iron,
the
latter, if they
contain more
than that amount. The Bessemer
ores
command the
higher price because they
are the purest ores
known.^
This division is made
because in the Bessemer
process no
phosphorus
can be
eliminated.
Hence the pig iron from which the
steel
is
made must
have no
more phosphorus than will maintain
the
Bessemer
limits of
o.i% phosphorus in the steel.*
Ores are
further
classified by
source. They
are either Mesaba
or
Old
Range.
The
structure of
the two types of
ore
is
different, and each acts dif-
ferently
in the
furnace.
Many smelters do not
care
to use
ioo%
Mes-
aba,
since,
owing to
its fine
texture, it
is apt
to
pack
down in the
furnace
and
prevent the
free
circulation
of
the blast. Gas pockets
sometimes
are
formed which
are liable to explode.
Consequently
a
mixture of
Mesaba and Old
Range ores is
used in many mills
in
order to
increase
the spaces
through which the
air
can
circulate.
One
large
producer in the
Calumet District uses
85%
Mesaba and
15%
hard
ore
for this reason.
On the other hand,
many smelters
1(a)
For full
discussion of the
Lake Superior iron ores, see
Crowell and
Murray, The
Iron Ores oj
Lake Superior
(1923).
(b)
For
movement of ore, see
Fig.
II.
''Popplewell, F.,
Iron and Steel
Production
of
America,
p.
52.
^Iron Age,
April
10,
1924,
p.
11 00.
Year
1919.
1920.
1921.
1922.
1923.
1924.
Ore
Prices
1919-24
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
223]
LOCATION OF DISTRICT SOURCES
OF
RAW MATERIAL
43
use
100%
Mesaba. These claim
that if a hard
"chunky" coke
is
used
in
conjunction
with hard limestone,
there is
no irregularity in
the operation of the
furnace.
Both procedures
are
followed in the
Calumet
District.
In
recent years, there
has been a very marked decrease in the
proportion
of Bessemer ores shipped. In
1902,
59.9%
of
all ore
shipped was Bessemer, but in
1922
the percentage
was
only
29.5.
This decrease is particularly noticeable in the movement of the
Mesaba ores, where the amount of Bessemer has
decreased
from
80.7%
in
1902,
to
31.5%
in
1922.
This decrease is not only rela-
tive, but actual, for the total
movement in
1922
was the lowest
on record.^
This is
obvious in the Calumet District
where the
production of
Open Hearth
steel
has increased enormously
in the
past decade,
while that
of
Bessemer has
decreased.''
The
successful operation
of a blast
furnace calls for
an ac-
curate knowledge of the ores which are
being
used. They must be
charged into the furnace with the
proper proportions
of limestone
and coke
in order that the impurities will flux properly and pro-
duce
the
desired grade
of iron. The proportions of fluxing ma-
terials
and
fuel vary according
to the
composition
of
the ore.
Therefore the ore must comply with
its
specifications. If it varies
from the guaranteed
analysis, the
furnace manager
is
obliged
to
make
troublesome
changes. He has to
increase or
decrease the
amounts
of coke
or
limestone in the
charge,
raise or
lower
the
temperature
of the blast, and even then he may
not
be able to make
the desired grade of pig iron. In the case of a plant devoted
exclusively to
pig iron
this would be a serious matter, since the
iron has to satisfy rigid chemical analyses to fit it for
particular
uses.
The
average iron
content of ore shipped
from
the Lake Supe-
rior
Region in
1922 and
1923
was
51.83%,
as
against an
average
of
51.42%
in
1914
and
191
5.
In
1902,
it was
56.22%.
These
figures show there
has been a considerable decrease in
the iron
content during
the past twenty
years.
The lowest level was
reached
in
1
91
6;
since
that time there
has
been a slight increase. There
appear to be
three factors which determine the average grade
of
'Crowell
and Murray, Iron
Ores
of
Lake Superior
(1923),
pp.
80-81.
*Ref., Table V,
which shows
the production of steel by
kinds for a period
of years.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
44
IRON
AND
STEEL INDUSTRY
OF THE CALUMET DISTRICT
[224
ore mined
and
marketed, (i) During
periods of business
de-
pression,
iron
production
is low and
the prices
of
ore accordingly
fall.
During such
a time, only
high
grade ore
is used.
The
opposite
is
true
for boom periods, when
smelters will
take almost any
ore
they
can get,
since prices
are high.
Consequently,
the average
grade
falls.
(2)
When a new
body of high
grade
ore is
opened up,
the effect is to raise for a time
the average
grade marketed. In
1893,
the
heavy shipments
of Mesaba ore
raised the average for
that year
to the highest point ever
reached,
61%.
(3)
In general,
the best and most accessible ores are exploited
first. Within
a
few
years, these are either
exhausted or cannot longer supply
the
demand, in which case the production
of
lower
grade ores is con-
sequently increased
and
the average
grade is reduced.'^ The general
improvement in
the grade which has been noticeable in
the last
few years is
due
largely to
the
better
methods of
marketing
the
ore, together with beneficiation, mainly
washing,
which
is being
practised on an increasing scale at the mines.
Low grade ore
increases
the
costs
of production.
If
the
demand for iron remains about the
same as
at present, or in-
creases,
this
in
turn will
necessitate a
considerably
increased
consumption of
ore,
limestone,
and
coke. This
in
its
turn
will
increase
labor
and
furnace
costs,
while
the
output
of
iron
and
steel
per
day
will
be decreased, since
the
capacity of a
furnace
is limited.
Consequently, the
prices of
pig iron will rise. "A decrease of
5%
in
the
iron
content of ore involves the
additional
use of
about
0.14
tons of ore,
0.12
tons of coke and
0.36
tons of
fluxing
stone
per ton of pig iron
produced . . .
which
at
present prices
would mean
an increase in raw
materials alone of about
$1.25
per
ton of pig iron."^
The
ore
is
analyzed
immediately it
arrives
at
the
furnace
and this
"natural analysis" forms the
guide
in
cal-
culating the "burden"
for a blast
furnace. The
"dry analysis"
made at the
mine
is useless for this
purpose since the
ore collects
moisture
as a result of exposure
on
the
stock
piles.
This "dry
analysis"
gives, however, an
accurate knowledge of the chemical
composition,
which serves as the guide
for blending, and determin-
ing
the quantities of coal
and
coke necessary
for
the
reduction of
the particular mixture.
'Eckel,
E. C, Iron Ores,
pp.
358-361.
^Ibid.,
p.
^6:^.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
225]
LOCATION OF DISTRICT
SOURCES
OF RAW MATERIAL
45
The question of the
grade
of
ore is
vital
to the
Calumet
smelters
since this determines the amounts
of
fuel
and
limestone
which must be used,
in
the costs of which the district
is at a
dis-
advantage
compared with
Pittsburgh. The
steel
companies
have
acquired
properties which
contain large
reserves of
high
grade
ore.
The possession
of
these ores ensures them an
adequate supply for
many years.
They
constitute an important reason for
the
amalga-
mations which
have taken place, and which are probable in
the
future. Consequently,
the
larger corporations, with
their abundant
reserves, are more
secure
than the smaller
companies, which pur-
chase
their ore
on the
open market. Ores so
purchased will
become
increasingly
expensive as
the supplies of independently
owned
reserves
approach exhaustion.
Mining
Operations.—
Mining operations in
the Lake Superior
region are among
the
more highly
organized industrial
activities
in the
country.
They have been developed to
cope with the
de-
mands of the
iron
and steel industry, which have increased
so rapid-
ly in the last few
decades.
The size of the operations,
the enormous
tonnage
produced, the
comparatively
short navigation
season
of about
seven
months,
and the needs for standardized
grades, all
have combined
to necessitate a
high
degree of efficiency. Large
mining
corporations predominate. These are either
independents
or subsidiaries
of the steel companies, but
the aims and problems
of each are
the same.
Two
types of
mining
operations have
been developed
to
suit
the particular
conditions in the six producing
fields. The
hard
ores of the
Old Ranges
are
produced mainly
by deep under-ground
methods, while
on the Mesaba, Vermillion,
and
Cuyana
Ranges,
the bulk
of the ore
is
obtained
by open pit methods.
Of the two,
the latter
is by far the most
productive and least
costly. The
soft
ores of these ranges can
be excavated with steam
shovels
at
a
very low
cost (Plate i).
A large daily
output is readily obtained,
yet, at the same time,
production is very
elastic and can be
adjusted
easily
to suit the
conditions of the market.
In periods of
depres-
sion,
operations
can be stopped
indefinitely without incurring
the
excessive
charges for
maintenance
that obtain in underground
mines. Labor
costs are less, since
fewer skilled
men
are required.
Because
working
conditions are
less cramped, mining equipment
can
be of the largest
type. This facilitates
large
scale
production
and
extensive
economies in operation.
The
choice of
one or the
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
46
IRON
AND STEEL
INDUSTRY OF THE
CALUMET DISTRICT
[226
Other of
these
methods depends upon
(i)
the
thickness and char-
acter of
the
overburden,
(2)
the size, shape, and
uniformity
of
the
ore body,
(3)
the facilities
for approaching
the
ore by open cuts,
(4)
the
availability
of
adequate space for the dumping of
the
top
burden,
and
(5)
the amount
of capital which is
available for strip-
ping operations.
Underground
methods
are
practised
systematically where
they form
the most
suitable means
of tapping the ore. The one-
time wasteful
mining operations
have been replaced
by systematic
exploitation which
ensures a
high percentage
recovery of ore,
with
a
minimum of risk of
damage
from cave-ins,
accidents, and
flooding.
The standard
method employed
is to
sink a
main shaft outside,
but near, the
ore
body.
At
intervals of
one hundred feet,
main
drifts
are
opened
to the
limit of
the ore,
or to the boundary of
the
property.
From these, "raisers"
are put up to
sub-levels.
Ore
removal starts
from the
top
and
proceeds
downwards.
The ore is
dumped
into
the
raisers and
loaded by
gravity into
trucks in the
main
drifts,
along
which it is
transported
by
trolleys to the
shaft.
As
each
successive
level is worked
out, the roof is
allowed to cave
in. This method
ensures a
high
recovery
of ore at a
moderate
cost.
These
operations can be
carried on
all
the
year round,
for
the ore
obtained after the
close of
the
navigation season
is dumped
in
stock
piles ready
for the
resumption of
shipments in
spring.
Open pit
mining, in
contrast,
commonly is
suspended
during a
part of
the
winter because of deep
snow and
low temperatures.
The
movement of
the
ore to the
docks and
into the boats
represents a
triumph of
organization and
skill. The
assembling
of such
a
vast
tonnage
of
ore on the
docks is
no simple
matter.
Boats
of
varying capacity
arrive for
cargoes
of definite
grades,
which must be
strictly up
to
specifications.
The shippers
know
approximately
when a
vessel
is due,
and
the
nature
of
its
next
cargo. They
aim to
have the
exact
quantity and
quality ready
before
it
arrives, so
that
loading
can be
completed
without
any
delay.
In order to do
this,
the
docks
are divided
into "blocks,"
each of
which
contains a
definite
weight of a
particular grade.
The
organization behind
all this extends
back
to
the mines.
When
the
ore
is
loaded
there,
samples
are
taken
representative
of every
ten cars.
An
analysis is
made
immediately
and the
contents of
iron,
manganese,
silica, and
phosphorus
checked.
The
numbers
of the cars
containing
this
specific
consignment
are
recorded
after
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
227]
LOCATION OF DISTRICT
SOURCES OF
RAW MATERIAL
47
the
train is made up, and
by the time this reaches the
switching
yard
adjacent to the docks, the instructions for dealing with it are
issued.
At the docks, every cargo
which is to be made
up
has been
given a
definite block
number. When
the consignments of ore
arrive, they
are
accurately weighed
and the necessary quantities
which
are required
to
make
up a definite mixture are
dispatched
to
the different blocks.
Should any of the latter be short on their
particular blend, there are always on
hand reserves of "on grade"
ore which can be
used
to make up
the
requirement. If any
block
contains a
surplus, then
what
remains is renumbered
and used later
to
make
up a
new
cargo, care
being
taken that the average
grade
for
the
whole block
analyzes
to
the
new specifications.
During
the
navigation
season,
the ore
trains arrive on the
docks at
half hour intervals,
and,
consequently,
the whole oper-
ations
are carried
out
with remarkable
rapidity as well as accuracy.
Eleven
railroad
companies serve
the
ore docks, most of which
they
own.
In
addition to hauling
the
heavy tonnage
of
ore,
they
are
responsible
to
the mining
companies
for making
and
maintaining
certain ore grades which have
a
rigid analysis. The railroads are
expected to handle the ore promptly, and
to
load
it
into
the holds
of lake
freighters, each of which carries
5,000
to
14,000
tons.^
Ore
Handling at Upper Lake Ports.—
The
ore
docks
are
as
highly specialized as the freighters,
and
since
1862,
when
the
"spout" loading
system was first installed
at
Marquette, they have
developed both
in size
and
efficiency in keeping with the improve-
ment
and
specialization of the lake
boats. The old
wheel-barrow
method of loading was
far
too slow and expensive, and it gave
way
to
the more rapid, and cheaper, gravity system.
At first,
and
this
still
holds good
at
some of the shipping
points,
the docks
were built
of
timber. In recent years, however,
steel and concrete
have
been employed
more
and
more in their
construction.
Apart from being
stronger,
these
materials obviate
the
fire
hazard.
With
the increasing size of boats, the docks have
been built higher and higher
so that
loading could continue to
function
entirely by gravity. Formerly,
the
bases of the pockets
were barely
twenty
feet above the
water, but now they average
more
than
forty
feet. All
of the docks
have developed consider-
'Barneveld,
C.
E. van, Iron Mining in Minnesota,
p.
208.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
48
IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY
OF THE
CALUMET
DISTRICT
[228
able storage capacity, owing
to the increase
in the
number
of
pockets.
The
saving,
both of time
and
of
costs,
as a
result
of
this
effi-
cient organization,
is considerable.
In
1909,
the L.S."W.
E.Cory"
loaded
10,111 gross tons of ore
at Two
Harbors
in
39
minutes.
In
1
911,
the same
vessel loaded
9,457
tons in
15
minutes
at Allouez
Dock, Superior.
Such rapidity
of loading
enables
each ship
to in-
crease the number
of voyages it can
make in
a season
and
thereby
to
Increase
its earning
capacity.^"
The
cost of assembling
the ore
at these docks
varies
according
to the
rail haul
and the dock charge. The
latter
is 10
cents
at
Marquette,
Escanaba,
and Ashland, but is only
5
cents
at Superior,
Duluth,
and
Two
Harbors. The rail
freights from
the Marquette
Range
to
Marquette average
63
cents per ton,
and
to
Escanaba,
81 cents; from
the Menominee
Range
to
Escanaba,
81
cents; from
the
Gogebic Range
to
Ashland,
81 cents;
from
Mesaba
and Guyana
Ranges
to Superior, Duluth,
and
Two
Harbors,
86
cents; from
the
Vermillion
Range
to Two Harbors, 86 cents. Lake
transportation
costs are
the same
to
all Lower Lake
ports,
with
the exception
of
those from
Escanaba to the
Calumet ports,
which are
slightly
less than to Erie
ports. These vary according to
the port of origin
from
65
cents
to
83
cents
per
ton. The
average unloading
cost is
10 cents per
ton.^^
Reserves
0/
0}r.
—Since the Calumet District
is entirely
de-
pendent
upon the iron ores of the Lake Superior region, the
ques-
tion
of reserves
there is of
vital interest
to its steel producers.
Various
computations have been made, varying from that of
Hayes
in
1908,
who put the
total amount of merchantable ore
at
3,510,000,000
tons, to that of
the Michigan Tax Commission,
in
1909,
of
1,584,000,000
tons.
The
first is
probably an over-
estimate while
the latter seems
an
underestimate, considering
the
purpose for
which it was made.
Eckel suggests
that
the
probable
reserves
amount
to
about
2,500,000,000
tons, and certainly
to
more
than
2,000,000,000
tons.^^
From
these
figures it
would seem
that
the
Calumet District,
and
the other
iron
and steel districts
"Backert,
A. O., J. B. C.
of
Iron and Steel,
p.
44.
"Crowell
and Murray, Iron Ores oj Lake
Superior
(1923),
pp.
91-93.
^^Eckel,
E. C, Iron Ores,
pp.
384-89.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
229]
LOCATION OF
DISTRICT SOURCES OF
RAW
MATERIAL
49
as
well,
are assured of adequate
supplies
for many
years to
come.
The
problem
arises, however, as to how
much
of
this
reserve
is
worth
mining under present conditions.
According to
R. C.
Allen
(State
Geologist of
Michigan), in a
paper read before
the
x'\merican
Institute of
Mining
and
Metallurgical
Engineers
and
the
Cleve-
land
Engineering Society, much of this so-called
reserve
is not
iron ore at
all, because according to
his definition
"Iron ore is
rock
which can be moved
from
its
natural position in the
earth
and
used
in the
manufacture
of
iron with
profit." He
states
that
it
would be unlikely that
mining
operations would
be
carried
on in
the
Superior region after
all the ore above
35%
iron content had
been
removed, because
the
movement
to
the present
smelting
areas
would not be
worth while,
from the point of view of
iron
produced
in
proportion to slag.
He
is of the
opinion that the
min-
ing industry
will migrate back to the East,
where higher grades
of
ore than
40%
are
known to exist. If he is
right,
then the
life of the
iron
and steel
industries of the
Calumet District
depends
upon
the
reserves of
Lake
Superior
ore of a
higher
grade
than
35%."
One
thing is
certain,
and
that is the total dependency of the
Calumet
District
upon the Lake Superior iron ores. Furthermore,
anything
which
increases
the cost
of smelting, will affect
this
area adversely.
The better the grade
of ore,
and the
greater the production per ton
of ore used, the
more easily can
this district compete
with other
districts
which
have
local
supplies of
fuel.
Lake Transportation Facilities.
—Cheap transportation on
the
Great Lakes has
been one
of the more important
factors
in
the
development of the
iron
and steel industry
of the United States,
and
particularly
of the Calumet District.
It is doubtful if the
industry would exist at all in
the
Northern
Interior if the Lakes
were not there. It would be impracticable
to assemble the
Superior
iron ore at the various smelting
centers in any other
way.
No one
railroad, however well
organized,
could
possibly
handle it. The
lake freighter
has
been
evolved
to cope with
this
bulk traffic.
Owing
to
climatic
conditions
the navigation
season on
the
lakes is restricted,
as already
noted,
to a little
more than
seven months, during
which
time
the steel mills
must
receive
a
supply of ore for
twelve
months. Failing
this, they would either
have to close
down during
part
of the winter or
obtain additional
"Crowell and
Murray,
op. cit.,
(1923), pp.
108-10.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
50
IRON AND
STEEL INDUSTRY
OF
THE
CALUMET
DISTRICT
[23O
supplies by
rail. Consequently,
by December
ist the seasonal
movement
must be complete. This
date is fixed quite as much
by
the
insurance companies
as by
the weather conditions, since
thereafter, the risks
are
too great
to be assumed at normal
rates
by the insurance companies. Under
favorable
weather
conditions
special policies are issued for a period
of about two
weeks at double
the ordinary rates.
As a
result
of
these limitations
to navigation,
it has been
advantageous to devise boats and handling facilities
which will
expedite
to
the utmost the movement
of the ore. The
modern
lake freighters are designed
to
carry
bulk
cargoes only.
They are
nothing more than great steel boxes. They are unlike
most ocean
vessels, in that the engines
are
placed aft instead of amidships,
while the navigating bridge is forward. There
is
only
one
deck,
and
all
the
cargo
is stowed
in one long
hold which extends the
whole length of the boat between the engines
and
the
bridge.
The majority
of the vessels
which have been built since
1905
have
been from
524
to 600 feet
long with an average cargo
capacity of
10,000
tons
(Plate
2).
Although
the
size of these boats has been
increased enormously of late
years,
their
engine units have re-
mained small. Compared with
many
steamers they
are very low
powered, but their small coal consumption—an average of
55/100
ounces of coal
per ton mile of cargo carried—makes them
very
economical
to
run,
and
freight charges, consequently,
are
kept
low. The
most modern
types
are
600 feet
long, with
a
beam of
60
feet, and
32
feet depth of hold.
These have a rated
carrying
capacity
of 12,000
tons, but they
actually carry
as
much
as
14,000
tons on
a
draft of
21
feet.^* A
number
of
larger ore vessels
exist,
as
for example
the
L.S. "W.
Grant Mordan," which
is
625
feet
long,
59
feet breadth of
beam, and
33
feet
depth of hold,
with a
a rated
carrying
capacity of
14,000
tons.^'
There
probably are no
more efficient bulk carriers in the
world, and it
is recognized that
the
"600-30-32"
class is
the most
efficient
type
of
ore
and
coal
carrier
that
exists.
^^
The design and
size of the boats
have been influenced by
two
factors,
the
depth of the
channels between the Lakes
and the
methods adopted
in loading and
unloading ore.
^^International
Shipmasters
Association Directory,
1923.
^^Mining and Metallurgy, Nov.,
1921,
p.
il.
"Lake Carriers Association,
Annual Report
(1922),
p.
116.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
231]
LOCATION OF DISTRICT SOURCES OF RAW
MATERIAL
51
These vessels
have
no fixed routes. They are
employed
in all
the Great
Lakes with
the exception of Ontario.
Consequently,
their size is
limited
by the capacity of the Soo
Canals,
and
of the
St.
Mary
and
St. Clair
rivers. With each successive
deepening
of these
critical waterways,
the size of the boats was
increased
accordingly. It
is
interesting
to note that the first
consignment
of
ore
to
Lake Erie
in
1853,
152
tons, was portaged
around the
rapids of the
Soo, while
the first shipment
through
the Soo
Canal
in
1855
was
132
tons.
It
was not until
1884
that
there
was a
16
foot channel
throughout.
The increased
cargoes which
could be
carried
so
cheapened the costs of
transportation, that, in
1884,
freight rates were
only
$1.21
per ton, compared with
$4.14
per ton
in 1866.
Meanwhile, boats
had
increased in size from 600 tons
to
1900
tons.^^ The
demand
for greater depth in order to permit the
use of
larger vessels induced
the
Federal Government to rebuild
the old
1885
locks at the Soo. The new structure, the Poe
Lock,
provided 20 feet draft,
and
at the same time,
1896,
the
channel
through the St. Mary River was improved and shortened by
11
miles,
and
provision was made for
the
first time for night naviga-
tion,^^
In
1895,
the construction
of the
steamers was modified
to
suit the construction
of the
ore
docks,
which were designed
to
load
ore
by gravity through spouts from hoppers. These
spouts
were
placed at intervals of 12
feet
(Plate
3).
In
the
new
steamers, the hold was
made accessible
through
a
large number
of hatches
which
opened
on
to the deck. These were placed
24
feet
apart "from center
to
center fore
and aft."
It
was soon
seen
that these hatches
did not
utilize
the loading capacity of a dock
to
the best advantage,
since only alternate spouts could be used
at
one time,
and the boat had
to
be moved
12
feet in order to use
the others. Consequently, in
1902,
the
first boat
appeared
with its
hatches spaced the same
distance
apart
as the spouts.
As
a
result
of this
change,
loading operations
could
be
completed
in less than
half the time
previously
taken, since all the spouts
throughout
the
length of
the boat could
be used at one time without moving the
boat.
This also
effected a considerable saving in costs. This first
boat of the
newer
type loaded her first cargo of
5,250
tons in
30^
minutes. Since
that time all
the new
boats
have been constructed
I'Crowell
and
Murray, Iron
Ores
of
Lake Superior
(1923),
p.
91.
isBackert,
A. O.,
The
A. B. C.
of
Iron and Steel,
p.
44.
.v<:^
.v^^'^^
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
52
IRON
AND
STEEL INDUSTRY OF THE
CALUMET DISTRICT
[232
to
provide
similar
accessibility. The
time
spent in loading
has
been
steadily
reduced.
The
L.S."W.
E.
Cory" loaded
io,iii
tons
gross
in
39
minutes
at
Two
Harbors
in
1909.'^
This
change
in
deck
structure
necessitated
modifications
in
the construction of
the
hold
in
order
to eliminate
certain
obstructions
which particularly
affected
unloading
operations. The reduction
in
the
time
taken
to
load,
together
with that saved in
unloading,
enabled a boat
to
make several
more
trips
per
season—
a
distinct
advantage
in
any
transportation
organization, and especially
important on
the
Great
Lakes, with
their
relatively
short navigation
season.
As
a
result of these
improvements, freight
rates have steadily
decreased,
and,
in
1922,
they
averaged
90
cents per ton.
2°
The
difference
in costs
between boat and rail transportation
is
very
considerable.
This
is
true in all commercial
movements on the
Great
Lakes
and the
oceans, but it is particularly significant in
the
case of the
movement of bulk
commodities on the Lakes.
"There is
no doubt
that the
Lake freighters
provide the cheapest
means of
transportation
in the world.
Their charge per
ton mile
is
0.07
cents,
as
compared
with one cent by rail.
Economical and
efBcient
transportation
lies at the
foundation
of industrial develop-
ment. .
. . The
bringing together of the cheap coal of
Pennsylvania and
the cheap
rich iron
of the Mesaba range has been
made
commercially
practicable
by
the cheapness of water trans-
portation."^^
The
carrying trade
on the lakes is chiefly in the hands of
large
corporations who
controlled
60%
of the total
number of
ships,
but
96.3%
of the
tonnage, in
1916.
These
figures
show that
they
also own and
operate the
larger
vessels.
-^
Ownership
by
in-
dividuals and
by small
independent companies began to
decline
after
1907,
when the
Rockefeller interests put a fleet of
twelve
vessels
into operation. At the
present time, the United States
Steel
Corporation, through
its
subsidiary, the Pittsburgh Steam-
ship
Company,
controls a
large fleet, but these
form only
a part of
the
number necessary to
handle
60,000,000
tons of ore
in
seven
"Backert, A. O., op.
cit.,
pp.
44-47'
'^"Crowell and
Murray, Iron Ores oj Lake Superior
(1923),
p.
91.
"(a)
Mining and
Metallurgy, November,
1921,
p. 13.
(b)
West Virginia and
eastern Kentucky
supply most
of the
coking
coal
which is used
in
the Calumet
District.
^'^Dept.
of
Commerce
Report,
191
6.
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
233]
LOCATION OF DISTRICT
SOURCES OF RAW
MATERIAL
53
months, not to mention
the grain, coal,
and
limestone
traffic.
In
the
spring it is customary
for the iron and steel companies to
contract for the conveyance
of a given quantity of ore
which
they
will need for the ensuing
year in excess of what their own
boats
can carry. In
1923,
the rate averaged 80 cents per ton from
the
Upper Lake ports
to
all
those on the lower lakes. These contract
rates
vary slightly from year
to year,
and
the grain
movement
competes with that
of
iron ore.
Should any smelter
need tonnage
in excess of
that
for which
he has
contracted, he
must enter
the
open market
and take what he
can
get at
the prevailing
rate.
This
"Wild Rate" may be
higher or lower than his contract
rate
was,
according to the supply of
shipping
available
at the time.
Facilities at
Calumet
Ports
for
the Reception
of
Ore.—
The
use of
these
lake-shipping
facilities already
noted is
dependent
upon
the
availability
of adequate
harbors
for the reception
of
water-borne materials. In every instance the provision
of
these
facilities
in the
Calumet District has been initiated, if
not entirely
provided, by the
steel interests themselves, since prior
to 1880
there were very meager
harbor facilities there. The
improvement
of the mouth of the
Calumet River
and the
construction
of
an outer
harbor
were
followed immediately
by
the deepening
and straighten-
ing of the river itself (Plate
4).
The
three
improvements
were
undertaken with the
aim
of
making the
industrial
sites adjacent
to the river accessible to lake steamers. Eastward from
Calumet
Harbor stretched a desolate, dune fringed shore devoid of any
form
of harbor. It was not until
1901
that any project was
conceived
for
the construction of Indiana
Harbor
and this was not
completed
until
1906.
The harbor
at
Gary
was constructed
soon afterwards.
This harbor development was
made
relatively
simple by
the
nature
of the shore.
The shallow water facilitated
the
building
of
piers
and
breakwaters. The loose
sand and
glacial till,
which
covers
most of the
area,
made
excavation
easy. The necessary
material for filling
could be sucked up
from
the lake floor with
relative
ease. The
Calumet River
formed the natural place
to
begin operations, since,
as
already
noted, the pioneer plant
was
located there, and the
river
and its mouth formed the nucleus
of a harbor.
Hence
harbor construction
in the Calumet District
began
with
the deepening of the mouth of the river
and the
im-
provement of
the
only waterway
which
led
inland. It was
the
The Iron And Steel Industry Of The Calumet District - Chicago State
54
IRON
AND STEEL INDUSTRY OF
THE CALUMET
DISTRICT
[234
urgent need
for
facilities
to
receive
the lake
boats bringing ore
to
the steel
mills which was responsible
for
the initial
steps,
while
the
need
for
additional furnace
sites called
for the
harbor
improvements
which
were undertaken
at
Gary
and Indiana
Harbor.
Through
these
three
ports
pass
all
the iron
ore, most of the
limestone, and much
of the
coal,
consumed
by the Calumet fur-
naces.
At present Calumet Harbor
is the most important
of the
three since it handles
the largest share
of
the
total
trade.
Origin-
ally, there was no outer
harbor there. Moreover,
only very
small boats could enter
the
river,
since its
mouth was blocked by
a
long
sand
spit which
had been built by
the littoral lake currents,
winds, and deposition
by the
river
itself. This
spit had forced
the
river
to
make a sharp
bend just before reaching
the lake, and
to
run
parallel
to the shore for about
3200
feet. The channel across
the
bar
at
the
mouth of
the deflected
river
averaged 100 feet in
width,
but
its depth,
always
inadequate, varied according
to the season.
In
spring when the river was swollen from rains it
was able
to
scour
a
slightly
deeper
channel,
the depth of which ranged
from
two
feet
to four
feet. Inside the
bar,
there
was a
depth
of thirteen
feet
for
a distance of four miles upstream.
In the
1870's
a
channel
was
dredged across the base of the spit that permitted
the lake
boats of that period to enter the river
and to serve the early iron
and
steel plants which were
established along
the
lower
banks in
the
i88o's.
Since
1884,
dredging has kept
pace with the increasing
size of the lake freighters.^^
The outer harbor,
and the improved
river channel, five miles
in length, constitute one
extended harbor
which
is accessible
to the
largest lake freighters
at
all times during
the navigation
season. The outer harbor, completed in
191
1,
covers
half
a
square
mile,
and is
simply the
dredged
portion of the
lake
which is enclosed by the piers
and
the breakwater.
It protects
the
entrance
to
the river,
as
well
as