Demise of bethlehem steel

History of technology Productivity improving technologies date back to antiquity, with rather slow progress until the late Middle Ages. Important examples of early to medieval European technology include the water wheelthe horse collarthe spinning wheel, the three-field system after the four-field system—see Crop rotation and the blast furnace. The spinning wheel increased the supply of rags used for pulp in paper making, whose technology reached Sicily sometime in the 12th century. Cheap paper was a factor in the development of the movable type printing presswhich led to a large increase in the number of books and titles published.

Demise of bethlehem steel

Its decline and ultimate death took nearly half that long. Bethlehem was then very near its top, peaking at No.

Bethlehem Steel History

And then it waned, dropping inexorably in rank, as U. Bethlehem meanwhile kept falling on the list, descending in to But it was by then in bankruptcy, ignominious, once-unimaginable bankruptcy.

With that, the steel artist formerly known as Bethlehem disappeared into the land of no one to answer questions.

Demise of bethlehem steel

Had Bethlehem lived, it would have turned this year. So this famous corporate death calls for an autopsy--a close inspection of the afflictions that laid Bethlehem out on a steel slab. Was the demise of this once proud and arrogant company inevitable, the unhappy result of its being in the wrong industry at the wrong time, amid unremitting pressures on prices and unrelenting increases in costs?

Or could expert and aggressive management, not wedded to history, have seen the handwriting on the wall and saved this company? In this exercise of complete hindsight, one piece of autopsy evidence is a crowded mortuary: More than 30 U.

Resources and power

Presidents tracked its every move. On Wall Street, investors even consulted an index of blast-furnace activity to get a line on what the stock market might do. Oh, well, that was another era. It had its own diseases, including eight years of losses one of them in But it diversified big in the early s by buying Marathon Oil, closed plants with relative judiciousness, ran its finances conservatively--and somehow survived.

Today, separated from Marathon and back to its core business, U. Steel is much smaller but still No. In it was a nonentity called Reo Motors, soon to be renamed Nuclear Corp. The company, which was never unionized, swung into making steel in electric furnaces--"mini-mills" became the tag--and began to prosper.

This year Nucor is No. Autopsies of corporations may be harder to do than autopsies of people, because typically there is a conspiracy of causes, rather than a single malady, that fells a company.

Bethlehem fits that mold. Its past 50 years were harshly invaded by competition from foreign steel and the mini-mills; by substitute materials, such as aluminum and prestressed concrete; and by onerous environmental costs.

Ishtar and Tammuz

The truth is that Bethlehem did itself in. It was not fit enough to deal with the new competition nor perceptive enough to sense its need for radical treatment. It could not have happened to a more distinctive company. In its history, Bethlehem had 11 CEOs: Charles Michael Schwab, who founded the company in and who is not related to the stockbroker of the same first and last names ; Eugene Gifford Grace; and nine who followed Grace.

Charlie Schwab, a charming bon vivant and risk taker, was a legend in the steel business, and Grace became one as well. Enteringhe promised President Roosevelt a ship a day--and then actually beat that mark by 15 ships. In this epitome of a company town, whole families often worked for "the Steel," as it was called.

Bethlehem was also famously into golf, habitually building courses near all its plants, even in Liberia when it undertook a joint venture there. Grace was a champion at golf, and so were many other Bethlehem executives.

That may not have been accident: A FORTUNE story about Bethlehem made the point that in recruiting college graduates it wanted not only brains but also all-around excellence, including "a good physique.

An escort then made sure that the boss had an elevator to himself as he rode imperially to the executive floor. It is easy to mock the business style of that day and easy to say that it was abysmally matched to the intense problems about to bear down on Bethlehem.

The probable answer is no: He ardently believed in expansion, and the time to get bigger in steel was passing fast. These meetings were sometimes bizarre, according to Bethlehem Steelmaker, an autobiography written many years later by Edmund Martin, who succeeded Homer as CEO.

Grace, reported Martin, would on occasion nod off to sleep. The world then stopped:Jango is about making online music social, fun and simple. Free personal radio that learns from your taste and connects you to others who like what you like.

Vintage Guitars Info's Vintage Martin Guitars and Ukes Vintage Guitar Info. Bethlehem Steel Corporation, former American corporation (–) formed to consolidate Bethlehem Steel Company (of Pennsylvania), the Union Iron Works (with shipbuilding facilities in San Francisco), and a few other smaller companies.

Demise of bethlehem steel

The company’s history traces to , when a group of. News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. An annual celebration in its 10th year, sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction, Steel Day is dedicated to the structural steel industry and is the field’s largest educational and networking function, with events occurring all over the country.

The Bethlehem Steel Corporation (commonly called Bethlehem Steel) was a steel and shipbuilding company that began operations in and was America's second-largest steel producer and largest shipbuilder..

The Bethlehem Steel roots trace back to with the establishment of the Bethlehem Iron Company; the Bethlehem Iron Company (also known as Bethlehem Iron Works or simply Bethlehem .

Productivity improving technologies - Wikipedia