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About this collection

The Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor provides a dramatic overview of the impact of the iron and steel industry on Youngstown and other Mahoning Valley communities. The building, designed by renowned architect Michael Graves in 1986, houses the museum's permanent exhibit, By the Sweat of Their Brow: Forging the Steel Valley, which explores labor, immigration and urban history using videos, artifacts, photographs, and reconstructed scenes.

 

Objects on display range from workers' tools and clothing to "last heats," the last batches of steel produced at each of the mills before they closed. Hundreds of photographs, some more than 30 feet long, are used throughout the museum. Videos examine topics such as housing, recreation, and urban history. Life-size scenes--including a mill's locker room, part of a company-built house, and a blooming mill, where steel ingots were shaped for further processing--help visitors understand steelmaking and the lives of steelworkers.

 
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