Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel

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Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation
Industry Metals
Successor RG Steel, LLC (bankrupt entity)
Founded 1920
Headquarters Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1920-Aug. 22, 1986)[1]
Wheeling, West Virginia (Aug. 1986-2013)
Products raw steel
galvanized steel
substrate steel
bridge building
sheet metal
Revenue liquidated
Website www.rg-steel.com

Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel was a steel manufacturer based in Wheeling, West Virginia.


Wheeling Steel Corporation was organized on June 21, 1920 as a successor to three prior steel companies.[2] The company consisted of factories for 30 miles, from Benwood, West Virginia north to Steubenville, Ohio.

  • Ackermann Works at Wheeling, which produced pressed and drawn steel stampings used in the automotive and appliance industries.
  • Beech Bottom Works at Beech Bottom, West Virginia, which consisted of sheet mills for producing hot rolled electrical sheets used by electrical equipment manufacturers. It also had facilities for coating long terne sheets produced by the Yorkville Works.
  • Benwood Works at Benwood, West Virginia, which consisted of two pipe mills with slabs supplied from Steubenville Works.
  • LaBelle Works at Wheeling, which manufactured cut nails.
  • Martins Ferry Works at Martins Ferry, Ohio, which produced galvanized sheets, galvanized roofing and accessories, corrugated culverts, and hand-dipped items. It featured two continuous galvanizing lines where coils of steel strips were processed, galvanized, and treated. It was sold under the SofTite brand. A second galvanizing line went into operation in November 1953 at a cost of $3 million.
  • Steubenville Works, which consisted of three integrated operations:
    • Steubenville North at Steubenville, Ohio, which featured two blast furnaces, 11 open hearth furnaces, blooming mill, hot strip mill, and cold reduction mills. It produced hot rolled sheets and plates and cold rolled sheets and coils.
    • Steubenville South at Mingo Junction, Ohio, which consisted of three blast furnaces, two Bessemer converters, blooming mill, and auxiliary equipment. It supplied hot metal for the open hearth furnaces at Steubenville North and Bessemer slabs for Benwood Works.
    • Steubenville East in Follansbee, West Virginia, which featured 314 coking ovens for Steubenville North and South.
  • Steelcrete Works, adjacent to Beech Bottom Works, manufactured expanded metal, metal lath, and accessories. It also produced Steelcrete bank vaults, reinforced mesh for buildings, stair treads, partitions, and miscellaneous items.
  • Wheeling Works at Wheeling, which fabricated containers, stove pipe and furnace pipe, electric and gas dryers, roofing accessories, floor and roof decking, gasoline tanks for automobiles, and miscellaneous automobile parts.
  • Yorkville Works at Yorkville, Ohio, which consisted of the first cold reduced black plate for tinning. The first tandem mill of its kind was installed in 1928. The facility produced electrolytic and hot-dipped tinplate, black plate, and terneplate. It also had a metal decorating plant for coating and lithographing tin, terne, and black plate, and two electrolytic tin plate lines that produced tin plate at up to 1,000 feet per minute.

Wheeling Steel was acquired by the Pittsburgh Steel to form the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation in December 1968. The merger added:

Wheeling-Pittsburgh’s was slow to modernize its high-cost facilities and overcome downturns in the steelmaking industry in the 1980’s. A late attempt to use a pig-iron blast furnace and electric arc furnace in tandem failed when the electric arc furnace did not achieve its designed capacity. Esmark engaged in a proxy takeover for Wheeling-Pittsburgh in 2005 and took over the company in November 2007.[3] Severstal acquired Esmark’s Wheeling-Pittsburgh holdings in August 2008 for $1.25 billion,[3] which was then acquired by RG Steel in 2011.[4] Mass layoffs by RG Steel began in June 2012 after the company declared bankruptcy.[5] The company sent notices to all 4000 RG Steel employees that they may be laid off, with layoffs beginning on June 4, 2012.[6]

Bankruptcy liquidations[edit]

After Chapter 11 bankruptcy and RG Steel liquidation, the Yorkville, Ohio plant was sold back to Esmark, the Martins Ferry, Ohio plant was sold to a local businessman, and the Steubenville, Ohio plant was sold to the metal recycler Herman Strauss.[7]

Further reading[edit]