Chester Pipe and Tube Company

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Chester Pipe and Tube Company
SuccessorNational Tube Company
FounderJohn Roach
United States
ProductsBoiler and other pipes, iron and steel tubing
Total assets$300,000 (1880s)
Number of employees
200 (1880s)

The Chester Pipe and Tube Company was a company incorporated in 1877 in Chester, Pennsylvania by shipbuilder John Roach for the manufacture of iron pipes and boiler tubes for the steamships built at his Chester shipyard, the Delaware River Iron Ship Building and Engine Works.[1]

Incorporated for a sum of $300,000, the Chester Pipe and Tube Company was located on 17 acres (69,000 m2) of land at the intersection of Front and West Streets in Chester, adjacent to another Roach company, the Chester Rolling Mill, and close to Roach's shipyard. Two large brick buildings and a number of smaller ones were erected onsite, and a workforce of approximately 200 was employed there. By the early 1880s, the company was manufacturing about 18,000 tons of wrought iron pipes annually from 20,000 tons of skelp iron.[2]

In 1880, Potts Brothers Iron Company Ltd., which owned a rolling mill in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, acquired a controlling interest in the Chester Pipe and Tube Company. Colonel Joseph D. Potts, a prominent figure in the transportation business, purchased the Potts Brothers Iron Company in 1890, and thereafter became President of the Chester Pipe and Tube Company, a position he retained until his death in 1893.[3]

In June 1899, the Chester Pipe and Tube Company was consolidated with twenty other pipemaking firms in the northeastern United States to form the National Tube Company.[4] In 1901, the National Tube Company and nine other major American steel companies merged to form the world's first billion dollar company, U.S. Steel.[5]


  1. ^ Swann, p. 60.
  2. ^ Ashmead, p. 441.
  3. ^ Wilson, pp. 180-186.
  4. ^ Warren, p. 12.
  5. ^ "The Merger of Iron and Steel Interests", by James C. Bayles, New York Times, March 10, 1901.


  • Ashmead, Graham Henry (1884): History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, L. H. Everts & Co., Pennsylvania.
  • Swann, Leonard Alexander Jr. (1965): John Roach, Maritime Entrepreneur: the Years as Naval Contractor 1862–1886 — United States Naval Institute (reprinted 1980 by Ayer Publishing, ISBN 978-0-405-13078-6).
  • Warren, Kenneth (2001): Big Steel: the First Century of the United States Steel Corporation, 1901-2001, University of Pittsburgh Press, ISBN 978-0-8229-4160-6.
  • Wilson, William Bender (1902): From the Hudson to the Ohio: A Region of Historic, Romantic and Scenic Interest, and Other Sketches, Kensington Press, Philadelphia.