Beyond Steel


92 Items.

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  1. Francis J. Vadasz [1974]
    In the Age of Steel: Oral Histories from Bethlehem Pennsylvania

    Francis J. Vadasz (1908-November 28, 1997), born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was the son of James and Mary Vadasz, née Laczo. He was married to Catherine Vadasz, née Ender. His parents emigrated from Hungary. Vadasz first joined Bethlehem Steel as a paint boy in 1925. After a short stint in the Navy he returned to the company and worked as an electrical repairman for 37 years. He was also a shop steward. In this interview he discusses early organizing activity, opportunities for promotion, strikes, Communist influence in organized labor, strikes, forming a veterans committee, implementing a safety idea, local politics, and ethnic diversity in the community.
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  2. Herman P. Landrock [1974]
    In the Age of Steel: Oral Histories from Bethlehem Pennsylvania

    Herman P. Landrock (July 5, 1889 - May 29, 1980) was married to Anna Landrock, née Trembeth. He came to New York from Germany in 1906 at the age of 17 and was hired by Bethlehem Steel. Landrock previously served an apprenticeship at the Krupp Works in Essen. By age 20 he was promoted to foreman at Bethlehem Steel and subsequently held positions of increasing responsibility including chief tool engineer in the Ordinance Division and head plating engineer in the Plating Division. In this interview Landrock discusses his early experiences in New York and Bethlehem as a young man who spoke no English. He discusses how he found lodging, established himself, and found his way into his first position in the Bethlehem plant. He also discusses details of his work, his further education, transferring to Rochester to work with the Symington-Anderson Company, working with women during World War II, remembrances of Eugene Grace, and comparisons between Krupp and Bethlehem Steel. Furthermore, Landrock delves into subjects such as his family, Freemasonry, his experiences as a member of the Bethlehem Steel Club, and the merger of the boroughs of Bethlehem, West Bethlehem, and South Bethlehem to form the city of Bethlehem.
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  3. A.J. Koch [1975]
    In the Age of Steel: Oral Histories from Bethlehem Pennsylvania

    A.J. Koch started with Bethlehem Steel in the Special Tests section of the main laboratory at Bethlehem Steel in 1934 and in 1939 became metallurgical supervisor for all laboratories. Koch subsequently was promoted to superintendent and at one point was responsible for Heavy Forge, Central Tool, Drop Forge, and Number 3 Shop. In this interview Koch discusses working conditions, processes, challenges encountered with the rise of the union, staying inside the factory during strikes, operations during World War II, introduction of women into the workforce, setting piece rates, impact of seniority on the workforce and the company's apprentice program.
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  4. Albert M. Reilly [1975]
    In the Age of Steel: Oral Histories from Bethlehem Pennsylvania

    Albert M. Reilly (ca. 1903-October 7, 1990), born in Lower Saucon Township, was the son of William and Carrie Reilly. He was married to Dorothy E. Reilly, née Allio. Reilly worked with Bethlehem Steel from 1921 to 1968 as a crane operator. In this interview he discusses being injured on the job, safety, strikes, working during World War II, working with women during World War II, trapping as a youth, Mexican and Portuguese workers, and his father's work at the Redington fuse plant.
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  5. Albert W. Chenoweth [1975]
    In the Age of Steel: Oral Histories from Bethlehem Pennsylvania

    Albert W. Chenoweth (1892-April 16, 1987) was born in Nocona, Texas. He was first married to Georgine Chenoweth née Wole and after her death to Mary Chenoweth, née Cioffi. Chenoweth played quarterback for Lehigh University before serving with a machine gun battalion in the 79th Division in France during World War I. Prior to the war, Chenoweth worked at Bethlehem Steel and he returned to the company after the war, ultimately becoming superintendent of the Number 2 and Number 3 mills in the Alloy and Tool Steel Division in 1939. In this interview Chenoweth discusses steelmaking processes, working conditions and safety, changes in the workplace with the advent of the union, how workers coped during the Great Depression, working during World War II, and working with 'locked-in' workers during the strike of 1946.
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  6. Andrew P. Skibo [1975]
    In the Age of Steel: Oral Histories from Bethlehem Pennsylvania

    Andrew P. Skibo (ca. 1907-November 29, 2005), born in Slatington, Pennsylvania, was the son of Andrew and Mary Skibo, née Stegura. He was married to Kathryn "Pat" Skibo, née Kuehner. Skibo joined Bethlehem Steel in 1925 and ultimately rose to become manager of Employee Benefits and Payroll Tax Accounting. In this interview he discusses his education, being laid off during the Depression, and setting up programs including tax withholding for municipal, state, and federal taxes, Social Security, the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit program, and the Savings and Vacation Plan. He also talks about legislative activity and court cases surrounding some of the programs.
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  7. Arpad S. Kery [1975]
    In the Age of Steel: Oral Histories from Bethlehem Pennsylvania

    Arpad S. Kery was the son of Emery J. and Rose Kery, née Kovacs, who emigrated from Hungary. He was married to Helen Kery, née Sabo. Kery was a captain with the Bethlehem [Pennsylvania] Police Department and chief of police for Lower Saucon Township, Pennsylvania. He worked for Bethlehem Steel as a helper in Number 3 open hearth furnace. In this interview he discusses changes in police procedures and equipment over time, views on legal rulings that have affected policing, the advantages of community policing, failures of the prison system, the waning of parental influence over children, public attitudes towards the police, adaptation of people of different ethnicities to the community, and combating drinking, prostitution, and gambling during Prohibition.
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  8. Burden E. Smyth [1975]
    In the Age of Steel: Oral Histories from Bethlehem Pennsylvania

    Burden E. Smyth was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania in 1918. He was employed by Bethlehem Steel in Labor Relations from 1941 to 1970. He initially participated in the Loop Course, a management development program, and ultimately served as assistant to the manager of Labor Relations. In this interview Smyth discusses how he developed his interest in labor relations, the grievance process, changes in attitudes towards the grievance process over time, views on cooperation between unions and management, Communist influences in organized labor, handling grievances during wartime, government interference in industry, and his participation in negotiating labor agreements.
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  9. Carl F. Ottenberg [1975]
    In the Age of Steel: Oral Histories from Bethlehem Pennsylvania

    Carl F. Ottenberg (ca. 1894-February 1, 1986), born in Berlin, Germany, was the son of the Franz and Ida Ottenberg. He was married to Helen Ottenberg, née Hartman. Ottenberg worked at Bethlehem Steel from 1916 to 1961 and was promoted to foreman during his tenure. In this interview he discusses his apprenticeship as a machinist in Germany, working for the Hamburg-American Line, leaving a German ship in Hoboken in 1914, being classified as an enemy alien during World War I, prior employment with Gerber Engineering Co., shifts, strikes, worker attitudes, his neighborhood, social activities, and traveling back to Germany to see his family.
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  10. Ceferino L. Orta [1975]
    In the Age of Steel: Oral Histories from Bethlehem Pennsylvania

    Ceferino L. 'Sticks' Orta (August 26,1901-December 6, 1997), born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, was the son of Pascual and Dolores Orta, née Lozada. He was married Maria Orta, who died in 1994. Orta emigrated from Mexico City and started as a laborer in 1926 with Bethlehem Steel and later became a pickler in Cold-rolled Steel, retiring in 1966. He was president of the Mexican Aztec Society of Bethlehem, a social organization that also provided mutual benefits to its members. In this interview he discusses his reasons for coming to Bethlehem, working conditions, Bethlehem Steel's labor camp for Mexican workers, working during the Depression, and his views on changing attitudes about work.
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