Rare Stainless Steel US Steel Executive Tray (Midcentury 1950-1970's)
USS Logo stamped in the center of round tray- Handles riveted to the plate. Left Handle is hand engraved rendering of the blast furnace skyline. Right Handle, etching of the molten iron ladle. Has some scratches on surface, signs of use (not deep, can be buffed out if desired) No dents. Substantial heavy gauge stainless steel.
United States Steel
What Ford did for the automobile industry, Andrew Carnegie did for steel. Always with the aim to reduce costs and increase efficiency, he was the first in the United States to successfully adopt the open hearth furnace and Bessemer process at his Homestead Steel Works plant. In addition to his innovative approach to production, he was an astute businessman: regularly negotiating prices, acquiring railroads, and buying out the competition. By 1889, Carnegie was one of the wealthiest men in America and Carnegie Steel was a leader in the industry.
In 1901, a $500 million merger, financed by J.P. Morgan, was successfully brokered between the company presidents of Carnegie Steel and Morgan’s newly acquired Federal Steel Co. Together the two industry giants formed U.S. Steel, or USS, the first billion-dollar corporation in history. Quickly followed by the subsequent acquisition of ten other steel-related operations, USS was unquestionably the largest business enterprise ever launched in America at the time. Its formation set a precedence for mergers and consolidation in the metals and other industries, that continues to this day.
In an effort to ensure a market of competition, its first chairman of the board, Elbert H. Gary, arranged agreements around cooperative pricing and marketing that led to the stabilization of a previously wildly-fluctuating steel market in the early part of the 20th century. This practice ensured that U.S. Steel, though continually profitable, did not monopolize the market, with its share dropping steadily over the years from 67% in its first year to approximately 33% between the 1930s and 1950s.
Playing a critical role in America’s rise to economic prosperity and prominence on the world stage in the early part of the 20th century, it contributed extensively to the Armed Forces during times of conflict, including in both world wars, and the development of urban, industrial and transportation infrastructure across the country. It reached its peak of production in 1953, with 35 million tons of steel produced, and its peak of employment in 1943 (during WWII), with 340,000 employed. A leader in global and domestic steel to this day, US Steel has shaped the American economic, cultural and physical landscape for over a century.