A Jones & Laughlin employee poses next to an enormous mechanized gear.
The Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation was one of the largest iron and steel manufacturers in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. By 1894, Jones and Laughlin was completely out of the iron business and produced only steel. By the mid-20th century, Jones and Laughlin was one of the largest steel producing companies in the world. It played a vital defense industry role during World War II. By the 1980s, as the steel industry moved away from Pittsburgh, J & L's vast plants along both sides of the Monongahela River near downtown Pittsburgh had been closed. Marcia Davenport wrote "Valley of Decision", which depicts the differences in families of different social and economic
backgrounds living in Steel Valley.