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Jones and Laughlin Steel Company: Map

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Former Jones and Laughlin bridge
The earliest foundations of Jones and Laughlin Steel Company were the American Iron Company, founded in 1851 by Bernard Lauth, and the firm of Jones and Lauth, founded in 1852 by B. F. Jones a few miles (c 4 km) south of Pittsburghmarker along the Monongahela River. Lauth's interest was bought in 1854 by James H. Laughlin. The first firm to bear the name of Jones and Laughlin was organized in 1861. Originally producing only iron, the enterprise began the production of steel in 1886. Over the ensuing 60 years, the company expanded its facilities and its operations along both sides of the Monongahela river and along the Ohio river. The Hot Metal Bridgemarker across the Monongahela river was built to connect the works on one side of the river with the works on the other side of the river. In 1905, a new plant was begun at Aliquippa, Pennsylvaniamarker. The company also owned coal mines in western Pennsylvania in its early days, including some reached by an incline in Pittsburgh's South Side which connected to the railroad over the bridge adjacent to the Hot Metal Bridge. Other mines were along the nearby Becks Run, also directly connected by railroad. The incline and mines were gone before 1900, but mining continued in Pennsylvania towns such as Vestaburg and elsewhere. The former Otis Steel company along the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland was purchased in 1942, and then in the mid-1960s a finishing plant was constructed in Hennepin, Illinois.

J & L Steel (known to its employees as simply "J & L") provided the most able competition to the Carnegie Steel Company in the vicinity of Pittsburghmarker. Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc. of Texasmarker offered to purchase 63 percent of J & L Steel in 1968.

In 1981, J & L Steel bought a stainless steel mill from McLouth Steel Products in Detroit, MImarker, which was probably an attempt to try to get closer to the auto market.

J&L Coal Incline

The J&L Coal Incline was a incline connecting a coal mine to the J&L iron making facility. It ran from Josephine Street, between South 29th street and South 30th Street on the lower end to Summer Street on its upper end.

From hot strip to parking lot

Dismantling of the buildings which housed J & L Steel produced an upsurge of building on the tracts of land where the buildings had stood. By September 2005, numerous new structures had been erected on both sides of the Monongahela River. Parking lots have been built at places where steel had been produced. Pennsylvania legislators spurred the construction by enacting a law that prohibits the development of farmlands. Developers have therefore turned their attention towards the development of the tracts of land that had been the sites of steel mills.

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