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Sharon's Yesterdays & Tomorrow

An Outline of the Growth of Sharon and its Industries....

and a History of the McDowell National Bank, June 1935



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Sharon's Industrial History 

The Sharon District seems to be in another period of transition. Continuous mills have made obsolete some of the old methods of manufacturing, and the Shenango Valley is no longer the center of production of flat-rolled steel. This center has moved to Detroit. Water transportation has taken heavy industry to locations on water. But, if the situation is properly dealt with, there is much to look forward to.  

In the two decades before 1887 the iron industry assumed vast proportions compared with previous production, and a beginning was made in the manufacture of rolled and finished material. Statistics for the year 1887 are interesting for purposes of comparison. Pig iron tonnage was 279,236; rolled iron was 47,519; there were 66,625 hundred-pound kegs of iron nails produced. Mercer County boasted of 17 blast furnaces, six rolling mills and an open-hearth steel casting plant.  

Through the two decades after 1887 there was an even greater ratio of increase. In 1906 the production of pig iron in Mercer County amounted to 1,208,294 tons. This was nearly 11 per cent of the total produced in the State. Among the counties in Pennsylvania, Mercer County was second in the production of pig iron, Allegheny County being first.  

Steel manufacture in the Valley was limited in 1906. There were 815,913 tons produced here. This was seven per cent of the total in the State. This county ranked third among counties. In the same year 676,261 tons of rolled steel were produced. Mercer County ranked second in rolled iron and steel in that year.

The Sharon Steel Castings Company was organized in 1887 and was the first steel plant in the Sharon District. Its equipment consisted of an open hearth furnace, and the first steel seas made there on August 26, 1887. The organizers of the company were F. H. Buhl, Daniel Eagan and Samuel McClure. Mr. Buhl was president; Mr. McClure, Vice president; and Mr. Eagan, secretary and general manager. The plant was acquired by the American Steel Castings Company, which in 1902 became a constituent company of the American Steel Foundries. The Mercer Tube plant now occupies the site.  

The Sharon Steel Hoop Company was organized in 1900, amid the plant was put in operation on March 15, 1901. The original officers of the company were: Morris Bachman, president; O. A. Blackburn, vice president; R. A. Winterburn, secretary’; and E. J. Anglin, treasurer. The company originally produced billets, sheet bars, hoops, bands and cotton ties.  

The Sharon Steel Works and Furnace, which was known until recent years as the North Works of the Carnegie Steel Company, was founded in 1896 by the Buhl Steel Company, the president of which was F. H. Buhl. The open hearth was put into operation in May, 1897. The blooming mill started soon after. The Buhl Steel Company was absorbed by the National Steel Company in March, 1899, and was one of the numerous plants of the steel corporation until dismantled in 1921 and 1922. The blast furnace was dismantled in 1925 and 1926.  

Mr. Buhl was also one of the active factors in the founding of what is now the Carnegie Steel Company plant in Farrell. The history of what was then South Sharon began practically with the building of the mill, which was started in February, 1900. In 1902 time plant was taken over by the U. S. Steel Corporation.

The American Sheet & Tin Plate Company and the American Steel & Wire Company were erected to absorb the output of the company’s local steel plants. They were built at practically the same time as the Carnegie Mill.  

The period of the World War brought a great boom to industry in the Sharon District.  

Following this period, in 1923, the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company purchased the plant of the Savage Arms Corporation in Sharpsville Avenue. The plant had been originally  the Driggs-Seabury Corporation.  

The Westinghouse Company made extensive additions and improvements to the plant. Included in its buildings is the largest one-story building in the world.  

The plant is used exclusively for the production of transformers for the Westinghouse Company. The coming of the Westinghouse Company to Sharon was an important factor in the city’s progress.  

Today the Sharon District numbers some thirty important industries and is an ideal location for practically any kind of new enterprise.  

Its present industries are: Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, Sharon Steel Hoop Company, Carnegie Steel Company, American Sheet and Tin Plate Company, American Steel and Wire Company, Claire Furnace, Shenango Furnace, Sharpsville Boiler Works, Keystone Machine Company, Pennsylvania Tank Car Company, Mercer Tube Company. Sharon Tube Company, Petroleum Iron Works Company, Sharon Hardware Company, National Malleable & Steel Castings Company, Air Reduction Sales Company, Pittsburgh Steel Foundries, Standard Tank Car Company, Sharpsville Furnace, Shenango Penn-Mould Company, Standard Slag Company, The Tennis Company, Sharon Railway Supply Company, Wheatland Tube Company, Valley Mould & Iron Company, Valley Cities Brick Company, Shenango Valley Water Company, Sandow & Goldberg Scrap Companies, P-O Electric Car Shops, and Rotter-Spear Company.

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State Street Flood 1913

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Driggs-Seabury Corporation, 

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Sharon Steel Hoops, 1906

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Related information on:


Sharon Steel Castings Company

Frank H. Buhl

Samuel McClure

Sharon Steel Hoop Company

Morris Bachman

Sharon Steel Works and Furnace

South Sharon

Driggs-Seabury Corporation


Claire Furnace

Sharon Boiler Works

Shenango Penn Mold Company





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