Francine In Retirement
Seeing Life Through Photography



Iron and steel were Pittsburgh’s main industries for nearly a century and a half. The mills along the rivers churned out their products 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It can be said that steel from Pittsburgh mills practically built America. From the Empire State Building to the Golden Gate Bridge, steel from Pittsburgh found its way to all corners of the developing nation.

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“Pittsburgh is more than a city,” declared Herbert Casson in his popular history The Romance of Steel (1907). It was “the acme of activity,” “an industrial cyclone,” a region of “sweat and gold,” a singular place where labor became “an untiring fury to produce.” As awe-inspiring as the Grand Canyon, Pittsburgh possessed the “secret of perpetual energy which science cannot explain.” Another popular image put it simply: “Pittsburgh is hell with the lid off.”

Pittsburgh Steel Murals



Pittsburgh today

Present-day Pittsburgh, with a diversified economy, a low cost of living, and a rich infrastructure for  education and culture, has been ranked number 30 of the World’s Most Livable Cities and number one in the United States Most Livable City list.

View Flickr Comments for more entries to this challenge.

Related Posts:  Tour Carrie Furnace and The Workers




  1. Nice photos today.

  2. Very unique! I like this. 🙂

  3. excellent post, good to remember those days!

  4. Love your photos of the steel mills Francine. I remember enjoying a walk through a restored mill with you 🙂

  5. It’s good to learn the cost of living is low somewhere!

  6. This post and its photos, Francine, are an excellent photoplay of the Pittsburgh that Was. Hard to believe that things have here have changed so much that industries like steel are no longer thriving here, that most have left the country. I hope we’ll see them return one day.

  7. LOL Francine! Good choice. PGH has come a long way!

  8. in my hometown is an abandoned steel industry too – you made a wonderful tribute with your article!

  9. greetings from my hometown steel:
    rusty roots

  10. Wow, great post!

  11. I love the way you proudly promote your beloved city on your blog, Francine. Another very interesting post with great pics. 🙂

  12. Pittsburgh and Hamilton have so much in common.

  13. truly fascinating history !

  14. I think I could live there again. Everyone was so pleasant!

  15. Wow! That is one huge statue.

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