>> research about the .blastproject steel mill replica. <<


I am new to the Steel industry and want to learn a little more about it before I
go ahead and plan a model of my own, Any ideas about how to approach the research?

The basics:

I think it’s important to first start with the basics and study the chart below which features 
all the relevant departments of a steel mill and how they interact: (taken from The Making 
Shaping and Treating of Steel book)

Now with that in hand it’s pretty essential to get a copy of Dean Freytag’s book “The History, 
Making and Modeling of Steel” which has elaborate descriptions and layout ideas for a steel 
industry based model train operation. If that’s not easily attainable there are many search points 
online that can be used. Many of which are featured in my “links” menu item at the top of your 

Online research:

Yahoo STEEL group is a place where people interested in steel mill modeling gather and converse 
about all the facets of modeling this huge industry. Join here and see pictures of other modeler’s 
efforts and ask any question you want. Also search past discussions with ease.

Satellite imagery is very important and is a powerful tool when researching plants. Google Earth 
allows you to measure distances of buildings and see aerial layouts of the mills. Maps.live.com is 
also a satellite program but a little different in that it has a “bird’s eye” function which 
allows you to see the plants in 3D and in great detail.

At Google Earth and Maps.live.com some of my favorite USA searches have been: 
Sparrows Point MD, Burns Harbor IN, Gary IN, Indianapolis IN, Indiana Harbor IL, Lackawanna NY, 
Bethlehem PA, Rankin PA, Birmingham AL, Thomas AL, Cleveland OH, Weirton WV, Steubenville OH,
Zug Island, MI, and River Rouge, MI. To locate the heavy industry is quite simple. In the aerial 
views search along rivers and lakes and look for the darkest dirtiest plots of land there. 
Those are the mills.

In conjunction with online satellite websites one can use the Library of Congress’ HAER website 
which features photographs and drawings of many steel mills. Key search terms to enter at that 
site are Monessen Steel, Sloss Sheffield Steel, Thomas By-Product Coke, Duquesne Steel, 
Homestead Steel, Bethlehem Steel, National Tube, Steel mill, Cokeworks, Coke ovens, ET works, 
J&L or Jones or Laughlin Steel, Corrigan and McKinney Steel, Rouge Steel Company, Fairfield Works, 
Central Furnaces, and Woodward Iron.

Additionally there are historic construction photographs of the USS Gary Indiana plant here. 
By searching “tracing” you will find drawings amongst the myriad of photos there. Also, from
the Chicago area there is The Charles Cushman Collection. By typing "Steel Industry or Mill" 
several photos in color will appear from the 40's.

Two sites that have great aerial photography and ground photography of Chicago Area mills.
http://www.pullman-museum.org/wordpress/?p=41 keyword "south works" or "south works aerials"
http://tigger.uic.edu/depts/ahaa/imagebase/maclean/index.html  search "disk 2" which has far 
aerials and close up aerials of Chicago and Gary mills.

Located here at http://www.printroom.com/pro/dorsett55 are some great photos of the Pittsburgh 
area mills before they were demolished. Also, as it relates to Pittsburgh one can search the
online Pittsburgh library website for historic maps with detailed mill structure layouts and
track plans. That website is here: http://digital.library.pitt.edu/maps/buildingsearch.html 
and can be used to see such historic sites as Duquesne in 1900 depicting 4 blast furnaces and 
Shoenberger in 1923 etc. Websites such as these exists for many cities and a simple google 
exercise can be used to locate them.

A cool site called historic aerials in which you can search a myriad of years for the same mill 
to see the changes:  http://www.historicaerials.com/

Book research:

Some important Steel related resource books include: (all available on Amazon.com)
     · Bernd and Hilla Becher various photo books (Excellent pictoral references)
     · Bethlehem Steel- Andrew Garn (Excellent pictoral reference with some history of the mill)
     · The Blast Furnaces of Sparrows Point- Lovis (Excellent pictoral reference with some 
        history of the mill, and good descriptions of in plant opeations)
     · Steel Remembered- Dawsom (Excellent Pictoral references with history of the mill)
     · Eliza- Perrott (Excellent pictoral references with individual interviews from 
        former workers)
     · The Making Shaping, and Treating of Steel- USS (Reads like an encyclopedia of 
        Steel Making. Good way to learn all about the process department by department and how 
        they interact w/ each other.
     · Bethlehem Steel Railroading - Nevin Yeakel (Excellent source for images and descriptions 
        of inter plant operations from the perspective of the railroad.
     · The Design of Steel Mill Buildings and the Calculation of Stresses in Framed Structures
        - Ketchum (This book gets a bit techy at times but has great graphic sections and plans 
        of various architectural features found in the mills and describes why and when they 
        are used.
     · The History, Making, and Modeling of Steel- Dean Freytag (A book put out in conjunction 
        with Walthers first series of HO scale Steel Mill kits that describes the steel making 
        process and suggests layout types and building types).

Model kits:

Buying kits is another matter. Walthers makes a whole host of buildings for steel mills in both HO 
and N scale. In HO scale Walthers is releasing a whole new series of steel mill related kits 
between Jan 2009 and July 2009. 85% of my structures are Walthers I’d say. Online stores on ebay 
typically offer cheaper prices and are listed in my links section at the top menu. I have found 
local train shows to be gold mines for ocassional deals as well. Peachcreek.com is a good resource 
when first approaching the topic of kits and rolling stock.


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