Saturday, February 25, 2017

River Rouge Steel Plant

Henry Ford believed in "vertical integration." That means, he not only made cars, he made the things that made cars like steel. He even had his own railroad. I believe it was Detroid, Toledo & Ironton. Elvin Howland posted five pictures of the steel operation, each with their own comment.

1:  To All: Newly poured slabs ready for the rolling mill in the Ford Rouge Steel Plant. Taken in the 1970's. Photo by Elvin Howland.
2:  To All: A bottle car being filled with molten steel in the Rord Rouge Steel Plant. It was raining that day. Photo by Elvin Howland.
3:  To All: The quench tower being used to cool down a hopper load of coke in the Ford Rouge Steel Plant. Taken in the 1970's. Photo by Elvin Howland.
4:  Ditto. Photo by Elvin Howland.

5:  To All: A Ford Switcher pulling a mill gondola in the Ford Rouge Steel Plant. Taken in the 1970's. Photo by Elvin Howland. I worked under contract for Ford Motor Co. to clean their directional signs and the Ford oval sign on the coke tower. This sign was 200 feet off the ground and was 90 feet long by 35 feet high. While up there I saw a nine locomotive Conrail freight go by. Outsiders were not allowed to have a camera in the plant, but I sneaked one in and took these photos. This plant was one of the largest in the word, being self contained, with an electric plant, blast furnaces, and an auto plant and other facilities. In WW II the plant built Liberty Ships.
Aaron Angle They actually did not build liberty ships at the Rouge plant during WWII. They did however build Eagle Boats, which were submarine chasers, there in WWI. These are great photos. Thanks for posting them.
Update:
John Abbott posted
River Rouge Ford Plant 1927
Robert Hagar I use to work there.
Straight ahead would be where the BOF (Basic Oxygen Furnace) and mold room will be built.
To the very hard right is Gate 1. 
This is where the big water tower would stand. 
This was torn down after the Russian steel co. took over the steel operations.
The highline was to the right bank of the channel where they unloaded the ships. (The highline was an elevated railroad where they unloaded the coalcars from the bottom.) 
The coke batteries were to the lower right of the picture.
The road to the right which would lead to Gate 1 leads to the building I first worked in.
The EE bldg. It is hard to tell but may be in the picture.
I also worked in the BOF mold room.
Robert Hagar The buldings to the left were assembly buildings and when I worked at the mold room I would walk through them.
Some were abandoned but others were in use.
The metal shop was over there and they would do all kinds of sheetmetal work.
John Abbott posted
River Rouge Ford Plant 1930's
Update:
3D Satellite
A time-lapse video of the Herbet C. Jackson being pulled out of the Ford slip and then going down the Rouge River until it gets into the Detroit River.

Kevin Pollock shared a SkyLit photo with the comment: "Patricia Hoey bunkering the Kaye E. Barker last night as she finishes offloading iron ore at AK Steel."
Ron Hawkins Bunkering is the act of fueling a vessel, perhaps from the days of coal when it was stored in a 'bunker'. The barge is what the fuel oil is carried in, the tug merely pushes it around. When the switch from coal to 'heavy' oil was done, this heavy fuel oi was called 'Bunker C', or sometimes '#6 fuel oil'
Nancy Schrader Keith It's a gorgeous night shot of the freighter, Kaye E Barker sitting by the dock at AK Steel (the River Rouge complex near Dearborn), finishing being refueled thanks to the fuel barge City of Detroit, which is being guided into correct positions by the tug, Patricia Hoey. Think I have it now...

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