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.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you.