The rise of the steel industry in the United States drove America's growth as a world economic power. Although ironworks had been established in the North American colonies shortly after European settlement began, it wasn't until the 19th century, when technological advances decreased the cost and increased the quality, that steel manufacturing became a dominant industry. With the abundant iron ore deposits around Lake Superior, the rich coal veins of Pennsylvania and the easy access to cheap water transportation routes on the Great Lakes, the Midwest became the center of American heavy industry. In the years after the Civil War, the American steel industry grew with astonishing speed as the nation's economy expanded to become the largest in the world. Between 1880 and the turn of the century, steel production increased from 1.25 million tons to more than 10 million tons. By 1910 America was producing more than 24 million tons, by far the greatest of any country.
Map of Steel Industry in Midwest
This is a map of some of some of the locations of oil in the MIdwest, along with some of the locations of the iron and steel mills during the 1800s. Railroads are also shown on the map. Chief manufacturing cities are displayed too.