Uncle Bob's Glasses from The Mill


  •     The glasses that are pictured above were the actual pair that he used in all three mills. The glasses have an extremely dark tint and glass adjustable side guards. The frames are made out of some type of plastic/rubber coated aluminum and the rest is made of  glass. The tint is actually so dark that it is hard to see in the natural light, but in the steel furnaces my uncle said that you would still squint when wearing them. The guards on the side of the glasses helped to create a seal around his eyes. The guards stopped all loose particles and bits of steel, that were airborne, from getting into his eyes. The story of the glasses is deeper than that though. The glasses were given to my Uncle Bob, whose Uncle Walter originally used them in the steel mills. I guess you can say they were an heirloom of some sort. My great Uncle Walter used the glasses in the steel mills for over 10 years (I'm not sure which mill he worked in but it was during the 1940's-1950's). After Uncle Walter worked in the mill for ten years he decided to open his own business and leave the mill. When my Uncle Bob got his first job in the mill Uncle Walter gave him the glasses to use. His Uncle Walter past away shortly after. My Uncle Bob used these glasses for his eleven years in the mill.  He used them up until the doors were shut for good at Youngstown Sheet and Tube(1977). When my Uncle Bob lost his job, he found new work, but the legacy of the glasses was over and so was the steel industry in Youngstown. My Uncle kept the glasses as a memory of his work in the mill and as a memory of his late Uncle's hard work in the mill.

  • Pictured above are scenes from inside a modern steel mill.  To the left is a picture of a ladle pouring hot, liquid forming steel into mold.  The photo on the right is a photo of two hot steel slabs coming off the end of the triming line.

    John Jones
    Youngstown State University