The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) is pleased to share the launch of its Bethlehem Steel Corporation online photo archives which were recently digitized through generous grant funding from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission(PHMC) Historical & Archival Records Care Grants program. These awards aim to improve the presentation of historically valuable original records relating to the history of Pennsylvania.
The Bethlehem Steel Corporation Photo Collection at NMIH comprises thousands of photographs, transparencies, and negatives from the corporate archives. Dozens of industrial photographers were employed by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation to capture iron and steelmaking activities in the plants, in the mines, on construction projects, in maritime and rail industries, and inside the largest steelmaking research and development facility in the world, at one time. This digitized collection is the result of a two year long process of identifying and selecting negatives, in an aim to represent the full extent of corporate operations during the first three quarters of the 20th century.
“We are so grateful to all who played a role in this important project. We thank PHMC, Backstage Library Works and especially our dedicated Archives Volunteer Team of Charlie Luthar, John Mikovits, Bette Kovach, John Sise, Joel Hoffner, Donald Stuart Young, and Mike Zaia as well as the many wonderful interns who have helped with this project over the years,” said NMIH Curator Andria Zaia.
Funding support from the PHMC Historical & Archival Records Care Grant program enabled a team of staff, volunteers and interns to make approximately 1,500 photographs and negatives available for public access. The images in this collection represent the plant sites, operations, and subsidiary companies of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation and be accessed online via https://nmihbethlehemsteel.omeka.net/.
“Bethlehem Steel’s vast photo archives provide a visual history of the company’s growth and breadth of services to its customers. The NMIH archives team, largely composed of former Bethlehem Steel employees, added context (and memories) to the photos, many of which are from the post WWII era of strong demand and innovative products,” said Bette Kovach, NMIH volunteer and former Bethlehem Steel spokeswoman. “Although we can’t go back in time, viewing these photos is the next best thing.”
Credit all photos to “National Museum of Industrial History (nmih.org)”
Megan Pildis, VP of Business Development