Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co.
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co.

Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co.

Although never based in Chicago, this steel company was a leading local employer for much of the twentieth century. Youngstown Sheet & Tube was established in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1900. In 1923, the company acquired plants in South Chicago and East Chicago, Indiana. During the mid-1930s, Youngstown employed about 6,300 Chicago-area residents. By the 1940s, the company's Chicago-area plants made about $400 million worth of steel products a year and represented about one-third of Youngstown's total national production capacity. By the mid-1970s, when Youngstown Sheet & Tube had become a subsidiary of Lykes Industries, it still had about 10,000 employees in the Chicago area. At the end of the 1970s, just as the American steel industry entered a severe slump, Lykes was purchased by LTV, a large Texas-based conglomerate led by James J. Ling. As part of LTV Steel, which spent much of the 1980s and 1990s in bankruptcy, the old Youngstown steel plants in the Chicago area laid off thousands of workers. By the end of the 1990s, LTV, which also owned the old Chicago plants of Republic Steel, employed approximately 4,000 people in the Chicago area.