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About Braddock

History

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The town of Braddock was settled in 1755. It is named for General Edward Braddock (1695–1755). The Braddock Expedition, particularly his crossing of the Monongahela River on July 9, 1755 at this place, led to the British general’s own fatal wounding and a sound defeat of his troops who had been moving against the French at Fort Duquesne. This battle, now called the Battle of the Monongahela, was a key battle at the beginning of the French and Indian War.

Braddock’s first industrial facility, a barrel plant, opened in 1850. The borough was incorporated on June 8, 1867. The town’s industrial economy began in 1873, when Andrew Carnegie built the Edgar Thomson Steel Works on the historic site of Braddock’s Field in what is now North Braddock, Pennsylvania. This was the first steel mill using the Bessemer process in America. As of 2010, it continues operation as a part of the United States Steel Corporation. This era of the town’s history is well known from the novel Out of This Furnace by Thomas Bell.

BRADDOCK CARNEGIE LIBRARY AND MUSIC HALL

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The Braddock Carnegie Library in Braddock, Pennsylvania, is the first Carnegie Library in the United States. Designed by William Halsey Wood in eclectic medieval style, it was built in 1888 and dedicated by Andrew Carnegie on March 30, 1889. An addition in more Richardson Romanesque style by Longfellow, Alden & Harlow (successors to HH Richardson) was added in 1893.
The library was named a National Historic Landmark in 2012, following its listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and is on the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation’s List of Historic Landmarks.

Currently, library services for adults have largely moved to the first floor, while a new Children’s Library opened in March, 2012 on the second floor. In addition to offering classes, the pottery studio also produces ceramic water filters for a program that works to improve public health in third-world countries. Work on the Music Hall continues, with restoration of the original 1893 seats the current focus.

EDGAR THOMPSON WORKS

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Braddock was also the site of Andrew Carnegie’s first steel mill, which was built in 1875 and still operates today,The mill is located on the banks of the Monongahela River east of Pittsburgh. On July 9, 1755, in the Battle of the Monogahela, French and Indian forces from Fort Duquesne defeated the expedition of British General Edward Braddock, who was mortally wounded in the fighting. Braddock’s Field also was the site of a rally of rebellious militiamen and farmers during the Whiskey Rebellion, prior to a massive march on the town of Pittsburgh on August 1, 1794.

The site on the banks of the Monongahela provides cost-effective river transportation of coke, iron and finished steel products.

On January 1, 1873, ground work began on the Edgar Thomson Steel Works. On August 22, 1875, the Edgar Thomson Steel Works’ hulking Bessemer converter produced its first heat of liquid steel, destined to become 2,000 steel rails for the Pennsylvania Railroad. The mill was capable of producing 225 tons of steel rails per day.

braddock-businessToday, two blast furnaces (Furnaces No. 1 and No. 3) continue in operation at the Edgar Thomson Steel Works, which remains part of U.S. Steel. In 2005, the mill produced 2.8 million tons of steel, equal to 28% of U.S. Steel’s domestic production. The mill employs about 900 persons, some of whom belong to the second or third generations of their families to work in the mill. Among improvements to its physical plant is a $250 million continuous caster, which converts liquid steel directly into slabs, installed in 1992. In April 1995, the mill was designated a historic landmark by ASM International, a society that honors works of structural engineering. Other structures honored by the society are the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower.

Borough of Braddock

415 Sixth Street
Braddock, PA 15104

412-271-1018

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