Sunday, February 15, 2009

Good Eats: Food in History Event in March

The Youngstown Historical Center will present a children’s history program on Saturday March 14, 2009 titled “ Good Eats: Food In History ” at 151 West Wood Street, Youngstown, Ohio between 1:00 P.M – 3:00 P.M. Young historians will learn about food from prehistoric times to the modern era –including the food of the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Middle Ages and later times. A simple prehistoric dish will be made and sampled by the students. The children’s history program is for young historians between the ages of eight and thirteen. The cost of the program is $10.00 for Ohio Historical Society members and $12.00 for all others. Advance registration is required-please call 330-743-5934 for more information and regristration.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Preservation Workshops Offered

Graduate students from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Science, Master’s in Library Science, Archives, Preservation and Records Management will be presenting a series of preservation workshops for the community on Saturday, March 21, 2009, at the Archives/Library, Youngstown Historical Center, 151 W. Wood Street, Youngstown.

From 10 Am – Noon “An Introduction to Document and Photographic Preservation” will be presented. Topics covered will include proper storage and handling, disaster planning and digitization. This course is designed for hobbyists, collectors and genealogists.

From 1:30 – 3:30 PM “Disaster Planning for Information Professionals: What To Do When Things Go Wrong” will be presented. Topics covered include creating a disaster plan and immediate steps to take during and following a disaster. This program is designed for volunteers and professionals responsible for preserving organized collections.

Reservations may be made by calling the Center at 330-743-5934. Cost is $10.00 per workshop. Fee is waived with YSU student ID. Checks should be made payable to Ohio Historical Society.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Story of the Sheet and Tube Mill Models

Many who have visited the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor have marveled at the three steel mill models displayed on the lower level. The three models, of a buttweld tube mill, hot strip mill and seamless tube mill are true to scale models of their full sized counterparts which were once important producing units at the YS&T Campbell Works. The history of these models is equally as fascinating as the history of their prototypes.

Their story begins in the depths of the great depression. Myron S. Curtis, assistant to YS&T President James A. Campbell, came up with an idea to build models of the company's two most important steel finishing processes, a hand sheet mill with an automatic sheet return, and a welded tube mill. The models would be taken to trade shows, conventions and other venues where the company had hoped to attract new customers. Mr. Curtis asked George V. James, foreman of the pattern shop; John McCaughney, patternmaker; and Edward Hendricks, toolroom foreman at the No. 1 machine shop to build the models.

The first two models were made largely of wood and sheet metal with a few castings. The hand sheet mill was equipped with a working version of the automatic sheet return device, an invention that was designed to reduce the amount of labor needed to roll sheet. The tube mill also functioned, and spectators could watch a piece of small diameter pipe work its way from the heating furnace, through welding and sizing rolls, then onto a conveyor where the ends were trimmed before being stockpiled.

A few years after these two models were built steelmaking at YS&T changed dramatically. A 79" hot strip mill was installed rendering the hand mills obsolete. Complimenting the new hot strip installation was a three stand cold strip mill. Also, a seamless tube mill, an electric weld tube mill and a butt weld tube mill were built to replace the original lap weld tube mills. Mr. James, McCaughney and Hendricks were once again called upon to build models of the new mills. This time, the trio decided to employ the use of castings to a greater extent and to also increase the level of detail in the new models.

The first model constructed was of the hot strip mill. It was fully operational and could roll lead bars into strips of lead sheet which were then rolled up in a miniature coiler. That model was followed by a model of the cold strip mill, which also included a miniature but fully working stamping press. After a coil was rolled through the cold strip mill it would be placed on an uncoiler in front of the stamping press, then fed into the press which stamped out souveneir tokens to be given to spectators.

The next model to be constructed was the seamless tube mill. It is by far the most complex of all the models. In it, a length of lead pipe is used to simulate the tube round. A piece of lead foil would be placed over the ends of the pipe to make it appear as if it were solid. Then the round would be fed through the heating furnace and out onto the roller tables. Next the round would be "pierced" and the foil would be pushed out of the way. The pipe would then go to the second piercer, then to a sizing mill before finally being deposited into a rack at the end of the model. The operation of this model required a certain level of skill as it has over a dozen switches and levers to be manipulated.

The last two models to be constructed were of an electric weld tube mill and a butt weld tube mill. Both of these models also operated creating a miniature product. All five models were transported to various trade shows, conventions and even the Canfield Fair from the mid 1930s until the 1960s. One or more of the models have been displayed at various times in Canada, Texas, California, Cleveland, Columbus, New York and Missouri.

In the late 1950s the electric weld tube model was given to the Franklin Institute, where it may still exist today. The cold strip mill model has disappeared and is presumed to be at the Smithsonian. The seamless, butt weld and hot strip mills wound up being displayed at the Buckeye School until the Boardman office building was constructed. At that time the hot strip mill was displayed in the library of the new headquarters. After YS&T's demise the models wound up in a warehouse in Pittsburgh before being donated to the Ohio Historical Society.

What is amazing is that out of the seven models that YS&T built, five of them are housed at the YHCIL. Just recently the two original YS&T models of the hand sheet mill and tube mill, which reside in the museum's basement, were dusted off and reassembled. Even the little stamping press which accompanied the cold strip mill sits on a shelf in the basement.

Over the past month, YHCIL volunteers have inspected, cleaned, oiled and test operated the hot strip mill. The two original models will be cleaned and repaired. The seamless tube mill is missing some important parts but a long range goal is to remake those parts and return it to operation. The educational possibilities that exist with these models, which were first realized by Mr. Curtis in the early 1930s, will be realized once again as we are able to demonstrate to our visitors some of the processes used in the making of steel.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Heritage Junior Girl Scout Badge Workshop

Youngstown Historical Center
My Heritage Junior Girl Scout Badge Workshop

Date: Saturday, March 21, 2009
Time: 1:00PM – 4:30PM
Where: Youngstown Historical Center
151 W. Wood Street
Youngstown, Ohio 44503
Cost: $15.00 per person
Info Contact: Nancy Haraburda

· Take a trip in the “Way Back” Machine ! Explore the museum – a company house, stone stack blast furnace, locker room, coal mine; visit Kilroy and experience the 1940’s

· Create a family journal – discover the origin of last names; record your personal heritage; chart your family tree, and more!

· Fun and games BT (before television) - some music, movies and more

· Earn your badge while making new friends and discovering history hands –on!

Register now. Space is limited. Please include a list of all girls and adults attending. Thank you.
Mail to: Youngstown Historical Center P.O. Box 533 Youngstown, OH 44501-0533

"Climbing My Family Tree" Workshop in February

The Youngstown Historical Center will hold Climbing My Family Tree, an adult/child workshop, on Saturday February 14, 2009 at 151 West Wood Street, Youngstown, Ohio between 1:00P.M. –3:00P.M.
This family heritage program begins the process of climbing your family tree. We encourage all participants to bring family photos and other related items for inclusion in your complimentary family album/workbook. Adult/child teams learn basic genealogy, discover research methods/sources and ways to “ find ” missing ancestors! The cost is $12.00 for one adult/child team who are OHS members and $15.00 for all other adult/child teams. Additional children per team are $5.00 for OHS members and $7.00 for non-members. Please call 330-743-5943 for further information and registration.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

February Friends Meeting Scheduled

The next meeting of the Friends of the Steel Museum will be held on Monday, February 9, 2009 at 5 PM at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor at 151 West Wood Street in Youngstown. The general public is invited.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Some of the "Hidden Gems" of the YHCIL

Visitors to the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor can see a wide variety of exhibits featuring hundreds of historic artifacts, but not many are privy to the collection of artifacts that are stored in the museum's gigantic storage room in the basement. Just like the government warehouse of crates in the Indiana Jones movies, the YHCIL's basement holds countless local history treasures just waiting to be discovered.

Here are a couple of examples:

This is a picture taken from inside a very large engineering model of a continuous caster. The model is over 30' long and is very detailed. Before computer modeling did away with them, model builders would construct a new plant to scale before it was actually built. This was done to verify that the buildings and equipment would fit where they were wanted without interference. With dozens of engineers and multiple suppliers working on a single large project, it would be very easy to make a costly construction mistake if two pieces of equipment were planned to occupy the same space. These models allowed engineers to see how their design would look before turning the first shovelful of dirt. However with 3D computer modeling these plastic engineering models are now obsolete, making this huge model a rare addition to the collection.

Here is another model, this time of a four high strip mill stand. United stands for United Engineering and Foundry Co., a steel industry equipment builder who operated a large plant next to the Market Street bridge in downtown Youngstown. Many mills such as the one this model represents were designed, cast, machined and assembled inside of United's buildings that still stand next to the bridge.
We are just scratching the surface. We will investigate more of the YHCIL's "Hidden Gems" in future posts in this Blog.

The OHS Local Partnership Program

At the December 15, 2008 meeting of the Friends of the Steel Museum, George Kane from the OHS main office in Columbus discussed the local partnering program with the meeting attendees.

Basically once a local partnership agreement is executed with a local organization, day to day operation of the histoic site is turned over to the partner. Issues such as staffing, hours of operation, programs, exhibits etc. would then become the responsibility of the local partner.

The OHS would still retain ownership of the site, archival materials and collections, and provide curatorial support for the collections at the site. Any capital improvements at the site would be the responsibility of OHS while all funding for the day to day operation of the site would have to come from the local partner.

Of course each partnering agreement would be custom made to fit each situation.

George Kane wanted to add the following response:

I was pleased to be able to attend the Friends meeting on December 15 and meet so many enthusiastic supporters of the Museum. OHS really appreciates your interest and willingness to make the Museum of even greater importance to Youngstown and the state.

I want clear up one misconception that apparently I left with the group. In establishing these local partnership agreements, we recognize that local communities will continue to need operating support from the Society, so it will not be the responsibility of the local partner to find all the funds needed for local operation of the site. The amount that OHS would need to provide each year to the partner would be determined while developing the partnership agreement.

George Kane
Director, Historic Sites and Facilities
Ohio Historical Society

Welcome Friends of the Steel Museum

The Friends of the Steel Museum was created to support the operation of the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor in Youngstown, Ohio. Known locally as the "Steel Museum", the YHCIL is a world class historical and educational facility housing numerous artifacts and materials from the area's days as one the nation's premier industrial areas.

The museum opened in 1992 as a site of the Ohio Historical Society. Due to ongoing State funding cutbacks OHS has implemented a program of turning over the day to day operation of all but three of its 58 historic sites to local organizations through "local partnership agreements". Currently 29 of the 58 sites are managed by local partners. The Steel Museum is also on the list of sites that is to be turned over to a local partner, and the Friends was created specifically with the goal of assuming operation of the site in mind.

The Friends of the Steel Museum meets the second Monday of every month at 5:00 PM at the museum. Membership dues are currently $5.00 per year and open to anyone with an interest in Youngstown's industrial history.

This blog will chronicle the efforts of the Friends in our efforts to not only keep the Steel Museum open, but to help it thrive into the future.