• U.S.

Business & Finance: Recovery City

2 minute read

Most reliable index of general business conditions in Pittsburgh is how dirty people’s faces are. By last week with steel production touching a new Recovery high (75% of capacity) Pittsburghers were good & grimy. Boomtime crowds swarmed the narrow streets of the Golden Triangle, Pittsburgh’s famed business and shopping district at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers.

More men were at work in the endless miles of steel mills than in magic 1929. In smoky Homestead the Relief Office closed down last month for lack of patronage. More automobiles were sold in Allegheny County in the first six months of 1936 than in any other half-year on record. For the first time since the War Connellsville’s 38,900 beehive coke ovens, now obsolete, were pouring soot into the murky atmosphere because the steel companies, short of steel scrap, needed more coke to make pig iron. Dispossessed residents of the ovens got jobs coking in what had been their only Depression shelter.

Happy steel executives were predicting an operating rate of 85% before the year end. U. S. Steel Corp. proposed to share its Pittsburgh prosperity with Birmingham, Ala., by announcing a $29,000,000 tin palate mill for its subsidiary, Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Co. Cheered were Pittsburgh police when they picked up a 20-year-old California vagrant who explained his presence: “I heard there was a boom in Pittsburgh.”

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