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In 1875, Andrew Carnegie opened his first steel plant, the Edgar Thomson Works, in Braddock, Pennsylvania. Carnegie named his flagship steel mill after Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) president Edgar Thomson, his former mentor. Always looking for an advantage, Carnegie located the mill between the PRR and B&O main lines so that the two railroads would reduce their rates to win his business.

Today in Allegheny County History - On October a massive explosion at the Edgar Thomson Works' C Furnace rocks Braddock.

Homestead Steel Works, foundry ladle prepares to pour molten iron into ingot molds (circa 1893) (Carnegie Museum of Art)

Homestead Steel Works, foundry ladle prepares to pour molten iron into ingot molds (circa (Carnegie Museum of Art)

Homestead steel workers with railroad flat car and 90-ton steel ingot (circa 1893) (Carnegie Museum of Art)

Homestead steel workers with railroad flat car and steel ingot (circa (Carnegie Museum of Art)

Pittsburgh Homestead Works of Carnegie Steel Photo | eBay

Pittsburgh Homestead Works of Carnegie Steel Photo

Carnegie Steel, Pittsburgh. http://pinterest.com/hamptoninnmonro/ #hamptoninnmonroeville http://www.facebook.com/#!/HamptonInnMonroeville #pittsburghhotel

Homestead Steel Works, foundry ladle prepares to pour molten iron into ingot molds (circa (Carnegie Museum of Art)

Steam Engine Carnegie Steel Youngstown Ohio

My novel "Hometown News" was originally going to be called "Rust Belt." It takes place in a small industrial city with scenes like this.