Yet another neat picture. I don't know why, but it never ceases to amaze me of the technology & equipment produced "from nothing" that put this country in the forefront of manufacturing so long ago, and so quickly.
When the first steel mill opened, where did they get the steel to build it?
Clay crucible, iron ore, limestone, and charcoal.
Tim, I share your fascination with the suddenness and scope of the Machine Age. It is mind boggling to consider how it all came about and the change in mankind it rendered, would something like it ever happen again?
I like the chalkboard. No men working, had the plant not started yet?
Thanks Jay for sharing the photo.
Too clean: Must have been brand new.
That picture is likely showing tooling used to build Model A Fords. The Rouge plant built Model T engines, never complete Model T's.
The technology Ford used did not come out of nowhere. It was refined from ideas in use at other manufacturing facilities all over the world. The tooling at the Rouge was evolutionary from tooling seen at Highland Park, at Keim Mills, and Dodge Brothers, as well as plants that were visited in Europe and Great Britain by John Wandersee, Charles Sorensen, and other Ford management and engineering folks.
What made the USA dominant as a manufacturing power in the years after WWI? It was a combination of low taxes, cheap labor, cheap raw materials, and large corporations risking their future by investing heavily in our country.
When several of the necessary components are missing the factory closes and production moves to other countries.
Where did the steel come from ? In raw form, "Duluth" would be the answer.
There is a reason they call that area "The Iron Range".
Actually as much or maybe more of it came out of Superior, WI loading docks from the Iron Range. I can remember going through there as a kid back it he 60's when the docks were still working full tilt and there was a rust red dust on pretty much everything. Now there's only two ore docks left shipping taconite out of the harbor: one in Duluth, and the other in Allouez on the south side of Superior. Silver Bay and Two Harbors have docks that have replaced the old ones shipping in the Twin Ports.
Michigan's Iron Ranges were the initial major producers of iron ore till the mines got too deep or the quality of the ore made them inefficient. However, many continued production into the 1960 and 70s. Marquette and Escanaba were major Michigan ports for shipping the ore to the smelters in Ohio and Indiana.