9/72. U.S. Steel Central Furnaces, Cleveland.

In 1965 there were 237 blast furnaces at 72 locations in the U.S. . This series will briefly introduce all of them.

Library of Congress, Photographer Jet Lowe

In 1965, the United States Steel Corp. was the largest steel producer in the world. In the U.S. it still operated 16 blast furnace sites. One of their lesser known plants was Central Furnaces in Cleveland, OH.
This plant was founded in 1881 by the Cleveland Rolling Mill Co. and supplied iron to the Newburgh steel mill until it was closed in 1933.
After that, the Cuyahoga River plant became a pure ironworks, selling merchant pig iron and hot metal to foundries.
In the 1960ies, after the demolition of furnaces B & C and the rebuilding of blast furnace A in 1954 the mill operated two furnaces.
Blast furnace A now mostly supplied pig iron to the Ford Motor Company’s Cleveland
engine plant.
With no integrated steel production the Central Furnaces became what USS called a “marginal unit” and were shut down in 1978.
Famous German industrial photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher visited the plant in 1979, pictures 3, 92 and 159 in their book “Hochöfen” (Blast Furnaces) show the furnaces.

  • BF A: Ø 26’0” (7,92 m)
  • BF D: Ø 22’6” (6,85 m)



1 thought on “9/72. U.S. Steel Central Furnaces, Cleveland.

  1. Dear Steel Nerd,

    I hope you are doing great! My name is Annabel and I am a third-year Ph.D. student. When I was searching for a historical blast furnace list, I came across your website and I am so amazed and shocked by the map you made (800 blast furnaces). I am currently working on a paper that attempts to examine the impact of blast furnace closures on air quality and it would mean so much to me if you might share your data on blast furnaces in US. I understand that you have spent a lot of time making this dataset and I can assure you that you will be properly cited and be one of the coauthors of the paper.

    Thank you very very much for your time and for considering my request. I wish you all the best with your future endeavors and I genuinely look forward to hearing back from you.

    Best regards,

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