republic steel corp.
The air was mild and dry as onlookers awaited the lighting of Republic Steel Corp.'s No. 5 blast furnace on the Flats East Bank. The S.S. Republic ship sailed in to celebrate Republic Steel receiving the maritime "M" award from the U.S. Maritime Commission for its record in producing steel for ships. About 70 percent of No. 5 blast furnace's capacity went to pig iron for ship plates. The furnace became the first in history to be operated by the hightop pressure technique, revolutionizing pig iron production. Although initial estimates had the blast furnace producing 1,250 tons a day, production blazed ahead to 1,619 tons a day by the '50s. Still in use today by ArcelorMittal Cleveland, it's one of two blast furnaces that has the capacity to produce roughly 3.8 million tons of raw steel a year.