Cleveland Works steel complex chronology:
The parade of owners

The Cleveland Works is a vast complex of steelmaking facilities straddling the Cuyahoga River:
  • On the east bank, the plants were originally owned by Corrigan, McKinney and Company, then Republic Steel, then LTV Steel, and now ISG Steel.
  • On the west bank, the plants were originally owned by Otis Steel, then Jones & Laughlin Steel, then Ling-Temco-Vought, renamed LTV Steel, bought by ISG Steel, and now merged into Mittal Steel.

Henry Bessemer
Henry Bessemer
Henry Bessemer of Sheffield, England, patents the Bessemer Converter, which blows air through molten pig-iron, turning it directly into steel. Before this, steel had been a specialist metal, used mainly for tools and weapons and made entirely by hand. British entrepreneurs were slow to make use of Bessemer's converter, but Andrew Carnegie wasn't. He first saw it in 1870 and promptly used it to become the world's richest man.
1899 Republic Steel logoRepublic Iron and Steel Company is founded in Youngstown.
Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Charles Schwab, and Elbert Gary create U.S. Steel by combining 11 companies (but not Republic). U.S. Steel accounts for 66% of U.S. steel output, and 30% of world steel output. By World War I, U.S. Steel would be producing more steel than Germany and Austro-Hungary combined
1913 Corrigan, McKinney and Company expanded its blast furnace and pig iron plant located on the west side of the Cuyahoga River into a fully integrated basic steelmaking plant. The company built rolling mills and the open-hearth furnaces on the east side of the river.
Charles Otis
Charles Otis
Charles A. Otis' Otis Steel Company begins operating its new Riverside plant on the west bank of the Cuyahoga River.
Cyrus Eaton
Cyrus Eaton
Clevelander Cyrus Eaton begins purchasing stock in Republic Steel and other companies, to form a new firm to rival U.S. Steel. Two years later, the Great Depression destroys Eaton's plan.
1935 Republic Steel acquires the Corrigan McKinney steelworks in Cleveland.
1936 Republic's headquarters is relocated to Cleveland, and the company entrenches itself as the nation's Number Three steelmaker, behind U.S. Steel and Bethlehem Steel.
1942 Jones and Laughlin logo

Jones and Laughlin Steel of Pittsburgh buys the Otis Steel Company on the west side of the Cuyahoga.
1947 James Ling founds the Ling Electric Company, an electrical construction and engineering firm, in Dallas.
1961 LTV letterhead

Business Week coverLing Electric Company becomes known as Ling-Temco-Vought, having grown through acquisitions and mergers through the 1950s. In the 1960's, the company becomes known as one of the first conglomerates, and Ling appears on the cover of Business Week. Ling-Temco-Vought is the first major company to issue junk bonds.
1968 Ling-Temco-Vought purchases a majority interest in Pittsburgh-based Jones & Laughlin Steel, which owns a large plant on the west banks of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, the former Otis Steel plant.
1976 Wilbur Ross joins Rothschild Inc., a global investment bank, where he will be an adviser to the creditors and stockholders of blowups such as Texaco, Eastern Airlines, and LTV.
1977 LTV logoLing-Temco-Vought, renamed the LTV Corporation, merges with Lykes Corporation, a petroleum-equipment enterprise, and Youngstown Sheet and Tube.
1984 LTV's Jones and Laughlin Steel merges with Republic Steel. The new company, called LTV Steel, is headquartered in Cleveland, and is the nation's second-biggest steelmaker. At its peak, it employs 15,000 Clevelanders.
1986 LTV declares bankruptcy, and begins reducing its steelmaking capacity from 24 million tons a year to 10 million tons.
1994 LTV emerges from bankruptcy
Wilbur Ross
Wilbur Ross
Apr: Wilbur Ross leaves Rothschild Inc., and founds W.L. Ross & Co. to sponsor "global private equity and hedge fund investments on behalf of major institutional investors."

Dec 29: LTV files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Cleveland politicians rally with laid-off steelworkers.
Jun 16: LTV shuts down Cleveland West mills, laying off 730 workers.

Dec 7: LTV shuts down Cleveland East mills. LTV Cleveland has 3,200 workers, of whom 1,600 have already been laid off. Now they are all out of work.
2002 Feb 27: W.L. Ross & Co. buys LTV's steel assets for $327 million, including $127 million in cash and the rest in "assumed environmental liabilities." By not buying LTV Corp. itself, Ross avoids billions of dollars in pensions owed to LTV retirees, who now get reduced checks from a federal agency. The company estimated that pensions and retiree health premiums added $30 to $50 in costs to a ton of steel. The deal also includes relaxation of pollution rules and massive public subsidies.

Pres. George Bush
George Bush
Mar 6: President George Bush invokes tariffs of 8 to 30 percent for three years on steel imports, creating an effective price floor for steel.

ISG logo Apr 15: W.L. Ross & Co. founds International Steel Group Inc. (ISG), led by CEO and president Rodney Mott, to take possession of and operate its steel assets.

May 6: East Side mills reopen with limited operations, 21 days after ISG took possession of the steel complex.

May 22: ISG starts making steel from scratch, 37 days after taking possession of the complex.

Acme logo

Aug 14: ISG agrees to buy Acme's minimill in Riverdale, Ill., which closed in 2001. Wilbur Ross said, "These are facilities that cost something approaching $350 million to build. We're buying them for $65 [million]."

Dec: ISG and the United Steelworkers of America negotiators agree on a contract.
2003 Bethlehem Steel logoFeb: Bethlehem Steel's board accepts ISG's $1.5 billion bid for its assets.

United Steelworkers of America members ratify ISG contract; profit sharing, wages $15.00 - $20.50 an hour.

Jun: United Steelworkers of America ratifies contract for former Bethlehem Steel workers.

Dec 4: Under threat of retaliation from the European Union, President Bush lifts steel tariffs 20 months after he imposed them.

ISG goes public at $28. Initial public offering raises $462 million before fees. More than 80 percent of ISG's common shares are held by company insiders, institutional investors and mutual funds.
2004 Weirton Steel logoApr 15: Weirton Steel Corporation board approves ISG's bid to purchase its assets for $253 million, of which $180 million is in cash. The addition of Weirton will increase ISG's annual steel-making capacity by approximately 3 million tons. This will give ISG the most steel-making capacity of any domestic integrated steel company, just ahead of U.S. Steel.

Georgetown Steel CompanyMay 4: ISG board agrees to buy the assets of the bankrupt Georgetown Steel Company facility in Georgetown, South Carolina. ISG plans to restart operations at the plant in the third quarter of 2004. The facility has annual steelmaking capacity of 1 million tons and rolling capacity of 800,000 tons.

May 12: ISG's Cleveland West works restarts a basic oxygen furnace and continuous caster. At full production, the twin-strand continuous slab caster will add 60,000 tons of steel slabs a month. The West Side will add 140 jobs to ISG in Cleveland, bringing total employment on both sides of the river to about 1,460.

May 12: ISG agrees to buy Cliffs and Associates Ltd. Hot Briquetted Iron works in Trinidad and Tobago.

Aditya Mittal
Aditya Mittal
Oct 24: Lakshmi Mittal announces that he will create Mittal Steel, the world's largest steelmaker, by merging Ispat International, ISG and LNM Holdings. The company will be run by his son, Aditya Mittal.