Friday, December 04, 2009

Steel Town 1944

The visuals are stunning. Stacks spewing clouds of smoke into the sky, nearly obscuring the Home Savings & Loan building while men and women, all wearing hats, jump on and off busses at street level. Rivers of molten ore running down chutes to create the ships, tanks or guns that in peacetime would be office buildings. In Youngstown we make steel. We make steel and talk steel.

A World War II -era film created by the Office of War Information, 'Steel Town 1944' offers an incredible glimpse into Youngstown's past. My hope with this blog was to continue to spread Youngstown's rich past while highlighting some of the remarkable things going on to rebuild. For those who lived in the steel boom years of Youngstown's past, in the words of Doc Graham, "The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces."

Some interesting points to watch out for:
  • 6:36 - Hooking up the hoist to a bucket of molten iron
  • 7:30 - The 1944 Wilson-South football game at South High.
  • 7:59 - South High School principal's office, classroom and cafeteria
  • 10:05 - A Youngstown Symphony Orchestra made up entirely of steelworkers and their wives, rehearsing a piece written by Gerald Marovich, a Youngstown-native in the Navy
Not to give the ending away, but this closing quote is a classic:

"When the war is over, we're going to have other problems. We know about that in Youngstown. We've had it here before. There are times when there is no smoke in the sky and mills were quiet. The streets full of men, angry, questioning, wondering. We're beginning to understand that these things don't just happen in one place. They happen everywhere."

1 comment:

Greg said...

Hey Joe, did you catch the call box on the pole at 14:56? Just to the right of the parked cars? Great video. It was really interesting! Thanks for posting it.