Pittsburg Development

This wonderful industrial development all came within the nineteenth century. There is still preserved as a relic of its origin the little block-house citadel of the old Fort Pitt, down near the point of the peninsula where the rivers join. This has recently been restored by the Daughters of the American Revolution—a small square building with a pyramidal roof. The surrounding stockade long ago disappeared. There is in the Pittsburg City Hall an inscribed tablet from Fort Pitt bearing the date 1764. The old building, which was the scene of Pittsburg’s earliest history, for it stands almost on the spot occupied by Fort Duquesne, is among modern mills and storehouses, about three hundred feet from the head of the Ohio. Pittsburg, after an almost exclusive devotion to manufacturing and business, began some years ago to cultivate artistic tastes in architecture, and has some very fine buildings. There is an elaborate Post-office and an interesting City Hall on Smithfield Street; but the finest building of all, and one of the best in the country, is the magnificent Romanesque Court-house, built at a cost of $2,500,000, and occupying a prominent position on a hill adjoining Fifth Avenue. There is a massive jail of similar architecture, and a ” Bridge of Sighs” connects them, a beautifully designed arched and . stone-covered bridge, thrown for a passage-way across an intervening street. The main tower, giving a grand view, rises three hundred and twenty feet over the architectural pile, and, as in Venice, the convicted prisoner crosses the bridge from his trial to his doom. There are attractive churches, banks and business buildings, and eastward from the city, near Schenley Park, is the attractive Carnegie Library and Museum in Italian Renaissance, with a capacity for two hundred thousand volumes, a benefaction of Mr. Andrew Carnegie, originally costing $1,100,000, to which he has recently added $1,750-000 for its enlargement. The residential section is mainly on the hills east of Pittsburg and across the Allegheny River in Allegheny City, there being many attractive villas in beautiful situations on the surrounding highlands.

But the great Pittsburg attraction is the multitude of factories that are its pride and create its prosperity. Some of these are among the greatest in the world—the Edgar Thomson Works and Homestead Works of the Carnegie Steel Company, the Duquesne Steel Works, the Keystone Bridge Company, and others. The Edgar Thomas mills make over a mil-lion tons of rails a year, and at Homestead fifteen hundred thousand tons of steel will be annually produced, this being the place where nickel-steel armor-plates for the navy are manufactured. They largely use natural gas, and employ at times ten thousand men at the two great establishments. The Duquesne Works, just above Homestead on the Monongahela, have the four largest blast furnaces in the world, producing twenty-two hundred tons of pig-iron daily. The Keystone Bridge Works cover seven acres, and have made some of the greatest steel bridges in existence. The Westinghouse Electrical Works manufacture the greatest dynamos, including those of the Niagara Power Company, and the Westinghouse Air-Brake Works is also another extensive establishment. In the Pittsburg district, covering about two hundred square miles, the daily product of mines and factories is estimated at $6,000,000.

The two men whose names are most closely connected with Pittsburg’s vast industrial development are Andrew Carnegie and George Westinghouse. Carnegie was born at Dunfermline, Scotland, in 1837, and his father, a potter, brought him to Pitts-burg when eleven years old. He began life as a telegraph messenger boy, attracted the attention of Colonel Thomas A. Scott, and was y him brought into the service of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Then he entered business, and became the greatest developer of the iron and steel industries of Pittsburg and its wealthiest resident. He some time ago sold out his interests to the Carnegie Steel Company, in which he is largely interested. Westinghouse, born in New York State in 1846, combined with business tact the genius of the inventor. He invented and developed the railway air-brake now in universal use, has established a complete electrical lighting and power system, and was the chief adapter of natural gas to manufacturing and domestic uses, being the inventor of many ingenious contrivances for its introduction and economical employment. He had a gas well almost at his door, for Pittsburg overlaid a great de-posit. The enormous coal measures underlying and surrounding the city have been its most stable basis for industry and profit, as the Pittsburg coal-field is one of enormous output. The deposits of Lake Superior furnish the ores for its furnaces, and the railroad development is such that each enormous establishment now has its special railroad to fetch in the ores from Lake Erie, where they are brought by vessels. Across in Allegheny City, where most of these ore-bringing roads go out, about one hundred acres in the centre of the city are reserved for the attractive Allegheny Park, one portion rising in a very steep hill, almost at the edge of the Allegheny River. Upon its top, seen from afar, stands a Soldiers’ Monument, a graceful column, erected in memory of four thousand men of Allegheny County who fell in the Civil War. Soldier statues guard the base, and look out upon the smokes and steam jets of the busy city below, and thousands climb up there to enjoy the grand view.