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happy? – Feb 25 (US Steel starts up)

Abby Sale 25 Feb 06 - 10:03 AM
Susanne (skw) 25 Feb 06 - 06:51 PM
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Subject: happy? – Feb 25 (US Steel starts up)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 10:03 AM

Pittsburgh: JP Morgan, et al start US Steel on 2/25/1901


The 'John Henry' of the steel industry is the folk-hero Joe Magarac. He is the essence of the Hungarian steelworkers of the mills along the Monongahela valley near Pittsburg and Morgantown.

BA Botkin says in A Treasury of American Folklore (required reading, BTW):

"The supreme symbol of industrial strength is Joe Magarac, who comments thus on his name and nature: 'Sure! Magarac. Joe. Dat's me. All I do is eatit and workit same lak jackass donkey.' He symbolizes not only the power of steel but the power of men behind the steel, the human basis of our basic industry.

There is no glory comparable to poured iron or poured steel. The gushing out of fiery metal from a great wheel-like container seems like the beginning of Creation. This black container of molten iron is twenty feet high. A ladle advances on an overhead railway. It travels to the container of molten iron. It moves foreward on its track and then laterally and then down. The black container swings around slowly on its axle as a man presses a lever.
...

My guide said: 'A man fell into that once, and they burried him and all the tons of metal. Right here they held the burial service.'

The story of the man who fell into the vat of molten metal and became part of it obsesses the men's minds. I have heard it told in different ways. They tell you of a man made into iron rails, of another who went into the structure of great buildings.

This story is as old as time. There was a great bell once which was cast and re-cast and would not ring true until a human being was sacrificed to it."

ALSO:

        I been a-workin' that Pittsburgh steel,
        I thought you knowed;
        I been a-duckin' that red-hot slag,
        Way down the road.
        I been a-blastin', I been a-firin',
        I been a-pourin' red-hot iron,
        I been a-havin' some hard travelin', Lord.

                "Hard Travelin'," by Woody Guthrie

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky


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Subject: RE: happy? – Feb 25 (US Steel starts up)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 06:51 PM

Might be worth adding this song about another Steel Man here.


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