Saturday, July 4, 2020

Lost/Interlake/Acme/Federal Furnace

(Satellite)

I'm publishing these notes without any research so that I can link the three Acme plants together and have placeholders for information. See Coke and Steel plants.

An aerial view that provides an overview of the conveyor to the coke plant that is out-of-frame to the right

Rod Sellers posted
Federal Furnace 1905. Federal Furnace merged with By Products Coke Company and Acme Steel and later formed Interlake Steel. Interesting organization on the Southeast Side with Coke Plant on Torrence Avenue, the Furnace Plant at 107th and Burley and Steel Mill in Riverdale in three different locations.

Rod Sellers commented on his post
By the late 1930s there were 2 blast furnaces and the company was Interlake
Bob Lalich posted
This photo of Interlake Iron's blast furnaces located on the east bank of the Calumet River at 108th St raises a question I have never resolved completely. The hopper cars seen in this photo contain coke for the blast furnaces. I have long wondered how the coke got from the coke plant located west of the river at 112th and Torrence to the furnace plant before the conveyor over the river was built in the late 1950s.
I made a crude estimate of the number of cars of coke per day required to feed two furnaces of this size and came up with roughly 40 cars per day.
According to the 1956 Directory of Industries, the coke plant was switched exclusively by CSL. The furnace plant was switched by PRR and IHB. Interlake had their own locomotives for intra-plant switching.
There are several possibilities for the route - most likely PRR or IHB. I have asked old timers who worked for both railroads in the late 40s/early 50s and have never gotten a definitive answer.
Rod Truszkowski CSL switched the coke plant. They would take coke to the furnace side daily. They would leave the coke plant with a train and take the cars to pullman jct. on the C&WI. They would then go down the ROCK ISLAND to rock island jct. From there they would go up to the pennsy to take the river line to the furamce side. Interlake owned 40% of the CSL for a while when their RR rolled into the CSL the other was owned by youngstown sheet and tube.
Bob LalichAuthor Rod Truszkowski - thanks for the info. I have a document on the corporate history of CSL which was produced by the railroad. It makes no mention of Interlake ownership, only that Youngstown Sheet & Tube, whose predecessor Iroquois Iron acquired the railroad from the Calumet & Chicago Canal & Dock Company in 1905, acquired 100% ownership by 1962. However, this map supports your account of CSL hauling the coke to the Interlake furnace plant along the route that you described. [The map is just below.]
Rod Truszkowski When we couldn't get through at pullman jct. we would pay wjeelage and go through the belt distric tracks. I will look and see on the ownership i knpw the CSL took over their locomotives..
Bob LalichAuthor Rod Truszkowski - here is another historic detail from the CSL document. The By-Products Coke Corp built the Torrence Ave plant along with its own railroad - the Calumet Hammond & Southeastern. The CH&S was acquired by CSL in 1918. By-Products Coke Corp and other assets owned by Pickands-Mather & Co were merged into Interlake Iron in 1929. It makes sense that a percentage of ownership of CSL was retained by By-Products/Interlake along the way.
Rod Truszkowski Bob Lalich i know old timers telling me of interchanging cars in hammond.
Bob LalichAuthor Rod Truszkowski - I think there is still a missing piece in this. I would think that an agreement would have been in place for CSL to use the Calumet River RR. When Ed DeRouin published his Pennsy In Chicago book, I asked him about such an agreement, since he included dozens of agreements in the book. He could not find one.
Rod Truszkowski Bob Lalich we had an agreement. It may have been from the merger of the CSL and CH&SE. During the years i was there we would occasionally run hot metal cats from the YS&T plant in east Chicago to the interlake plant. The CSL had direct connections to a good number of railroads in it's heyday.
Bob LalichAuthor Rod Truszkowski - any idea why the map shows the CSL route from South Deering to Pullman Jct on the ex-NKP?
Rod Truszkowski Bob Lalich they also had running rights on the NKP to the coke plant too. My quess it dates back to the CH&SE days.
Bill Edrington Interesting mix of marks on those hopper cars: NYC, CNW, CB&Q and C&O, plus a couple of what appear to have been Interlake’s own cars for local coke service. I’m guessing the “foreign road” cars were made empty of inbound coal at the coke plant and then used for a coke move over to the furnaces before releasing them.
Phil Minga There is a shallow tunnel that crosses Torrence at about 111th. It’s a little north of the coke cracking towers that were / are west of Torrence.
Bob LalichAuthor That tunnel was for a conveyor from the so-called South Slip to the coke plant. The South Slip was shared by Wisconsin Steel and Interlake. At one time, some coal for the coke plant was brought in by boat.
Glen Koshiol Was that Acme Coke ? We serviced that on the BRC off the CWI main. Usually B&O coal. I remember an overhead conveyor going east over the CWI to Wisconsin Steel and an underpass at the bus stop maybe for the workers?
Rod Truszkowski Glen Koshiol when that conveyor belt and gas pipe went through the CSL cut a lot of there employees.
Glen Koshiol Rod Truszkowski What year was that?
Rod Truszkowski Glen Koshiol in the 50's i believe later when YS&B moved from chicago to east chicago another round of layoffs happened as CSL did not switch the plant in indiana.
Bob LalichAuthor Glen Koshiol - I have a note that the conveyor and bridge were built in 1958.
 
Tony Margis posted
Wisconsin Steel, Acme/Interlake Steel, and Republic bordered with the South Deering and East Side neighborhoods. (photo pre-1950)
 Top right, Republic Steel and to the left of it Acme/Interlake also to the right of Wisconsin Steel across the river to the south and bottom left Wisconsin Steel.

Tony Margis posted
Acme Steel - Interlake Iron Corporation Family Tree, 1932
Author
Admin
+2
 
Tony Margis posted
Cranes & Blast Furnace for Acme Steel in 1999 at 108th & Calumet River.
[The comments indicate this was the "B" Furnace.]
Rob Stanley: I worked at that blast furnace in 1966. The skip car coming down hit me on the top my helmet. Luckily slowed down when it reaches the pit. Good old days!
Dan Golubovich: Rob Stanley I was the scale car operator at republic steel 1977 to 1986

Rod Sellers posted
Where am I?

Rod Sellers commented on his post
Answer: View of Acme / Interlake Coke Conveyor Bridge from Torrence Avenue view east. The only suspension bridge in Chicago, it connected the coke plant on Torrence Avenue with the furnace plant on the east side of the Calumet River. Attached photo shows the bridge on August 22, 2005 shortly before demolition.

Rod Sellers commented on his postView of the Acme Coke bridge shortly after demolition August, 22, 2005




Rod Sellers posted
Where am I?
Bob Green Interlake/Acme Steel office building, 108th and Burley. Looks like after they closed.
Richard Rudin That red building was Plant 4 of Valley Mould and Iron.
Gene Colella Top of Acme "A" furnace looking east?

Rod Sellers commented on his post
Acme Furnace Plant office building and East Side. Photo taken August 2004 a couple of years after plant shut down. Red building is former Valley Mould. Wolf Park visible at top right. Attached photo was taken August 2008 from further west. Green area is former Wisconsin Steel property and the former furnace plant had been taken over by DTE and used for coal storage.

INDUSTRIAL CULTURE & PHOTOGRAPHY posted
Mill unknown. Gary maybe?
Donald Dunn shared
[Some comments identified as ACME Steel, closed in 2002.]


Lost Illinois Manufacturing posted thirteen photos with the comment:
Acme Steel Co.The Acme Flexible Clasp Co. was founded in Chicago in 1884. In 1899, the company merged with the Quincy Hardware Manufacturing Co. of Quincy, Illinois, a manufacturer of barbed steel staples led by James E. MacMurray. The new company, based in Chicago, changed its name to the Acme Steel Goods Co. in 1907; in 1925, it became Acme Steel Co. By the mid-1930s (during the Great Depression), Acme employed about 1,400 Chicago-area residents. A new plant opened in Riverdale, Illinois, in 1918; by the end of the 1950s, when annual sales of well over $100 million placed Acme among the top 300 industrial corporations in the United States, the move from Chicago to Riverdale was complete. In 1964, Acme merged with the Interlake Iron Corp., a Cleveland-based company that owned plants in Chicago, to form the Interlake Steel Corp. In the mid-1970s, as its annual sales approached $700 million, Interlake had 3,500 workers in the Chicago area. A new Acme spun off from Interlake in 1986. The company had trouble staying afloat and employed only about 1,200 local residents by the end of the 1990s, a number that fell as a phased shutdown was begun in 2001. In 2002, the International Steel Group, organized by WL Ross & Co. LLC, bought the shuttered and bankrupt Acme Steel and re-opened it as ISG Riverdale Inc., a sheet minimill employing about 200 workers. http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/2524.htmlhttp://www.idaillinois.org/…/Acme%20Steel%20Comp…/mode/exact
 [Some of these photos are of the Riverdale plant such as the one that William Grin identified as the BOF.]
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Michael Hrysko What year would this be when the picture was taken ?

Tony Margis posted
Acme Steel Co.
The Acme Flexible Clasp Co. was founded in Chicago in 1884. In 1899, the company merged with the Quincy Hardware Manufacturing Co. of Quincy, Illinois, a manufacturer of barbed steel staples led by James E. MacMurray. The new company, based in Chicago, changed its name to the Acme Steel Goods Co. in 1907; in 1925, it became Acme Steel Co. By the mid-1930s (during the Great Depression), Acme employed about 1,400 Chicago-area residents. A new plant opened in Riverdale, Illinois, in 1918; by the end of the 1950s, when annual sales of well over $100 million placed Acme among the top 300 industrial corporations in the United States, the move from Chicago to Riverdale was complete. In 1964, Acme merged with the Interlake Iron Corp., a Cleveland-based company that owned plants in Chicago, to form the Interlake Steel Corp. In the mid-1970s, as its annual sales approached $700 million, Interlake had 3,500 workers in the Chicago area. A new Acme spun off from Interlake in 1986. The company had trouble staying afloat and employed only about 1,200 local residents by the end of the 1990s, a number that fell as a phased shutdown was begun in 2001. In 2002, the International Steel Group, organized by WL Ross & Co. LLC, bought the shuttered and bankrupt Acme Steel and re-opened it as ISG Riverdale Inc., a sheet minimill employing about 200 workers.

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William Grin This is a photo of A Furnace being built 30's.
Bob Callahan Can't be. Look at the yellow front end loader at the lower left of the tower. Also, that looks like a station wagon by the office trailer pictured. That's gotta be the 1960's or 70's. That's a quenching tower, that's part of the coke ovens.

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William Grin This is a Ariel view of Acme Steel and Wisconsin Steel and Republic Steel.

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William Grin This is at the BOF pouring molten steel into Ingot moulds.

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William Grin This was No. 4 Coke belt going over the Calumet river. The Coke plant was on Torrence Avenue in South Deering.
Dennis DeBruler In the background near the right side of the photo is the quenching tower and two smokestacks of the coke plant.
https://www.google.com/.../@41.6877042,-87.../data=!3m1!1e3


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