Eberly College students at the blast furnace

John Lipinski’s MBA class toured the Carrie Blast Furnace in Swissvale on the Monongahela River. Rivers of Steel gives tours of this once-glorious industrial site and gave the students a hands-on view of the history and evolution of the steel industry, as they could observe right before them how the complex evolved from its origins in 1892 to its closure in 1978.

Eberly College tour of the blast furnace

The students learned how Andrew Carnegie’s dogmatic commitment to efficiency and economies of scale laid the foundation of what became the first billion-dollar corporation, United States Steel.

The visit brought a number of lessons to life as they learned about labor relations, vertical integration, supply chain optimization, and ultimately the effect of technical obsolesce.