Duluth Works Facilities
The Duluth Works steel facilities were, upon construction in 1915, among the most modern steelworks in the world. This designation was very soon eclipsed by others. The plant, although massive in scale to most people, was among one of the more modest facilities within the U.S. Steel empire. At 973, 000 tons of steel making capacity a year, it was nowhere near the massive steel plants of Homestead or Gary. In fact, U.S. Steel bought more land when it built the facilities on purpose, in part due to speculation, that more subsidiaries and other steel related industries would move to the unoccupied land on the site to consume the plants products, but this was not the case. The only other major tenant on the site, was the cement plant of the Universal Atlas Cement Company, a direct subsidiary of U.S. Steel. A smaller company named Priola and Johnson, took open hearth and blast furnace slag and granulated it for other uses on the plant property.
The Duluth Works featured a ten furnace open hearth steel production facility, two blast furnaces, 110 oven by-product coke plant, a benzol and toluol plant, a by-products refinery, coal and coke conveyors and crushing and sizing towers, a pig iron casting facility, a blowing house powerhouse, a Heine boiler house, fresh water pumping inlet station, a hot gas soaking pit and stripping building, a massive rolling facility consisting of a blooming mill, 28" rolling mill, billet finishing department, hot gas re-heating beds, bar finishing department, fence post fabrication unit, merchant mill, wire, nail, fence and welded fabric mesh building, machine repair shop, three massive materials yard crane bridges and loading/unloading docks, locomotive engine repair and servicing building, its own railyard, a lab, an ore thawhouse, a coal thawhouse, and various warehouses and other structures. When initially completed in 1916, the steel plant site alone had 48 buildings listed, the size of a small community.
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