Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Bethlehem Steel Corp.
Bethlehem Steel Corp.

Bethlehem Steel Corp.

Bethlehem Steel came late to the Chicago area and never made its headquarters there, but it was a leading employer in the area during the last decades of the twentieth century. Founded in 1899 in Pennsylvania, Bethlehem Steel expanded rapidly during the 1920s and became the second-largest U.S. steelmaker by the eve of World War II. Unlike many other American steel companies, Bethlehem did not operate any large mills in the Chicago region during this period. It finally arrived in 1962, building a large new plant at Burns Harbor, Indiana. By the mid-1970s, about 7,000 people worked there; at the time, this amounted to only about 5 percent of Bethlehem's total workforce. But as the American steel industry declined and Bethlehem cut back, the Burns Harbor plant continued to operate. By the end of the 1990s, it accounted for half of the company's total revenues. In May 2003, its assets were acquired by the International Steel Group.