It's an old iron factory built into a museum. Most parts are open to public and are left in a 'frozen' state since it was closed in '86 (although maintained and sometimes still fully functional). It's a really nice travel in time and insight into an industry of this scale. I remember how parts of the complex seen organised and architected and other parts are just a big mess of pipes and parts that have been added and shoved in over the decades that this factory ran (24/7, all season, without a roof, I might add).
Now most of those old 19th century mill buildings are transitioning into dorm-like hipster studio apartments.
On the surface it seems like an easy process to make steel, but it required hundreds of years of gradual technological progress to get to the point where large quantities of consistently decent steel could be manufactured. So many independent inventions and scientific discoveries where required before we could make steel. It's really a material that's taken for granted.
It would be interesting to make a sort of real life tech tree of the inventions required to get to modern steel.
Ditto with aluminum, perhaps even more so.
It's run by a professional metallurgist and the quality of the articles is outta sight.
They take Patreon funding to get cool samples and stuff to do testing and analysis. It's the real deal. Recommended.
If you have a chance, tour a steel plant, they are amazing places. Nearly all of these location should offer tours
I'm not sure where you get both "sad" and "preventable" from that documentary. The tragic decline of employment in the US steel industry was completely unavoidable.
The decline of American steel company's dominance between 1960 and 1980 might've been preventable, but the human carnage wrought by automation would've happened in any case.
Watching the documentary, you can see the coming storm. Every video of people working is a prelude to an industrial automation project. And it's no mistake that the documentary ends with an acknowledgment that today's steel workers operate a keyboard and mouse.
The most important lesson from steel is that competitive pressures + new ways of automating things = huge disruptions in the labor market (read: lots of poverty where once there was wealth).
US apparent steel consumption was 97.8 million tons in 2012, the latest date available. That's a bit lower than the 106 million tons in 1968. American steel consumption has declined about 40% per capita. The US steel industry would have had to ramp up exports very aggressively to remain as large a portion of the US economy as it was in the 1960s.
The interstate highway system got passed in 1956. It is now comprised of almost 50,000 miles of highway, and cost almost $500 Billion in todays dollars.
There would have been a whole lot of rebar used in the construction of all the concrete - bridges, overpasses, the concrete sections in Los Angeles and other high volume areas
I wonder how much of that is from import auto sales? Or an overall drop in civic projects?
My top guesses as to causes would be a reduced pace of building/infrastructure construction, reduced steel content in cars, and cars lasting longer.
It shows massive industrial steel plants operated entirely by hand - highly trained teams of men spending their days doing what we'd do with computers, pulling levers and operating wheels to control individual parameters of steel-making machines, and turning out steel made with incredible precision.
The narrator, John Laurie, later became famous for playing Private James Frazer in the UK sitcom Dad's Army.
There are books out there on hardware startups, but that’s the only thing I’ve seen. Are there any museums, courses, and or paid experiences people recommend in the US?
For books I'd recommend the "Chemical Engineers' Handbook" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry's_Chemical_Engineers'_Ha...
That's a pretty good general textbook that should give you a lot of fundamentals. We keep a copy in our office and it's well thumbed through.
Anything else I could recommend would be much less general more specialized topic (i.e thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, solid mechanics etc).
Sorry I can't really offer more than that Manufacturing is a hugely broad discipline. To start with maybe consider if you are more interested in primary processing (mining, refining, smelting etc) or secondary processing (turning raw materials into products).
There are numerous areas ofmanufacturing. Pick one to begin study.
I will teach you about laser cutting, robot welding, keeping the supply chain going, and how to make a profit when competing directly with China and India.
[downvoters: relax, it's a joke. Get out and watch a movie once in a while]
Thanks for posting the clip. It was interesting to see how bad SFX were in a big budget movie from 1982.
I'm a big fan of mythology and how we use it to explain things about our world.