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Arsenal: 1942

Arsenal: 1942

December 1942. Detroit, Michigan. "Hanna furnaces of the Great Lakes Steel Corporation. Stockpile of coal and iron ore." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Arthur Siegel for the Office of War Information. View full size.

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I still work there....I think...

I work there, currently laid off for the moment, at the 80 inch mill, which is next to Zug Island (south) and still really don't know what's going to happen with the whole plant. Not sure if it will reopen or shut it down like McLouth Steel. It's the sign of the times and nothing is solid right now.

US Steel currently owns this place now and I know about 40% of our contracts where in fact tied to automotive, so we haven't been told much about the future of our jobs or the plant. It will be a sad day if it is announced this place will never open again. Every time we shut down a steel plant this country gets weaker.....Sad, But China is happy!!


Wow. I worked for several years at the Great Lakes Steel Corp. long after this.

The only thing that leaps out at me is what I recognize as a church that was boarded up by the time I was there. It is just to the right of the crane, just left of center in the picture. The building on the side may have been the sinter plant which was long shut down by the time I saw it.

This was and still is on Zug Island in Ecorse, Michigan. Just off to the right of the vantage of this picture out of view should be the A1 and B2 blast furnaces. At some point the C3 blast furnace furnace was built between them- but I have no idea when that was.

From what I know the D4 blast furnace was built in the 1950s just about in the center of this picture or possibly just to the right just barely out of view.

As I write 5/22/09 this is all shut down hopefully only temporarily.


Detroit was known as the "Arsenal of Democracy."

That's what it says on my 1951 Detroit souvenir pennant, sitting here.

The WWII planners retooled the auto plants and came up with planes, tanks and such for killing lots and lots of the enemy. I wonder, with worry, how the retooling of today's Detroit will end up?

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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