The Mill

by Rade B Vukmir

In this moving and personal work, Rade B.Vukmir MD, JD vividly re-creates life in an american steel town. Relying on extensive interviews and his own experience in the industry, Dr. Vukmir offers a retrospective summary of the life and times of a diverse group of steelworkers, who were the heart and soul of one of America's largest industrial facilities.

Here is the story of their hopes and frustrations, the triumphs and the trials of these workers, captured in the way that proves invaluable to all those who desire to know the fabric from whence they came.

The interviews were performed in 1995-96. The audio recordings should be interpreted in historic context.

The stories, language and technology usedshould be referenced to that time period.

Here is the story of their hopes, dreams, triumphs and trials of these workers. They are captured in a way that prove invaluable to all who desire to know the fabric from whence they came. The lessons offered by these steelworkers are resonant to this day.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Jones and Laughlin Steel

was the largest integrated steel making facility in the world built on a seven mile stretch of the Ohio River.
This plant employed 14,000 at it’s peak, producing the steel beams, girders and military equipment that built this country and won it’s wars.
It was the heart and soul of an American steel town, living through both the rise and fall of the steel industry.

Here is their story.


For those of you who will never know, since the gargantuan sprawling mills are gone, the testimonies of these men and women are recorded. This is their story. You would be afraid to walk, where they toiled day-to-day. They worked their whole lives at the risk of their health, either acutely or chronically, just to live and support their families.

Theirs was a world of extremes-from the North Mill, with its red-hot steel, iron and an oppressive layer of soot to the South Mill, with its clean swept floors and gleaming finished products- tinplate, pipe and I-beams. They knew the contrast also between the blast furnace, a veritable "hell on earth", where the hot iron flowed as the acrid smell of combustibles permeated the air contrasted with the eerie calm and darkness found working by the river at 3:00 a.m.

The Mill, The Jones and Laughlin Aliquippa Works was once the largest integrated steelmaking plant in the world. The mill no longer exists, but go stand on the site by the Ohio River and you will feel the memories and the presence of those are gone before you. Here's the story of their hopes and frustrations, the triumphs and trials of these workers captured in a way that will be valuable to the pleasure reader and scholar alike.