applet-magic.com Thayer Watkins Silicon Valley & Tornado Alley USA
The History of the Economy of Pittsburgh
1. Pittsburgh is located at the confluenceof the Monongahela and
Allegheny Rivers. This site was first settled as Fort Duquesne by the
French, but captured by the British in 1758. In the early years it was
the gateway to the frontier of the Ohio River Valley. The Ohio River
starts at Pittsburgh.
2. Boat building and metal industries were later the economic base
of the region. When coke from coal began to replace charcoal from wood
in iron and steel making Pittsburgh grew up as the heart of the industry.
A plentiful supply of bituminous coal underlies the Pittsburgh area.
3. By the 1920's Pittsburgh produced one third of the national output of
finished and rolled steel. It had the world's largest tube and pipe mill,
structural steel plant, rail mill, wire manufacturing plant, bridge and
construction fabricating plant. Pittsburgh also led in the manufacture
of electrical machinery, railroad cars, tin plate, glass, fire brick and
aluminum finishing. Forty percent of the nation's coal came from within
100 miles of Pittsburgh.
4. The heavy reliance on the metals industries resulted in economic
stagnation and decline in the Pittsburgh economy when these industries
experienced decreased demand and increased competition from foreign
5. In recent years Pittsburgh has shifted from reliance on heavy
manufacturing industries. The "Golden Triangle" of the downtown has been
renovated. Pittsburgh is the headquarters of many major corporations;
e.g. U.S. Steel, Gulf Oil, Westinghouse Electric, Rockwell International,
Alcoa, National Steel, PPG Industries, H.J. Heinz. Next to New York and
Chicago, Pittsburgh is the most important city for corporate headquarters.