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Union Drawn Steel/Republic Steel Company – Beaver Falls PA

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The Union Drawn Steel Company, which specialized in cold finished steel bars, was founded in Beaver Falls by industrialist William A. McCool (1850-1923) in about 1889. McCool, of Ashland, Ohio, was a prolific inventor and devised a revolutionary method of producing cold finished steel products. Union Drawn Steel, with a plant located along Seventh Avenue at the southern end of Beaver Falls, was merged with other steel firms in the 1920’s and became part of the new Republic Steel Corporation in 1930. (c1912)

The plant of Republic Steel (formerly Union Drawn Steel) along Seventh Avenue in Beaver Falls, with the old Tenth Street Bridge visible directly behind it. Republic Steel suffered greatly during the 1930’s, thrived during the 1940’s, and found sustained success in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The downturn in the domestic steel industry during the 1970’s crippled the company and forced employee layoffs. Republic was sold and become part of LTV Steel in 1984, but that firm struggled and declared bankruptcy two years later. About 5,000 employees of the “steel bar division” of LTV Steel banded together as Republic Engineered Steels and purchased the steel bar operations in late 1989. (c1960)

Republic Engineered Steels operated several plants, including the one in Beaver Falls. Operations were merged with Bar Technologies in 1998 to form the new Republic Technologies International (RTI). The Beaver Falls facility was closed due to economic hardship in August 2002. The plant was soon sold and became the new home of Keystone Profiles, a producer of cold finished steel bars and similar products, in the summer of 2003. The Keystone Profiles plant, with about sixty employees, is still operating today. (c1960)


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