3.1. Dynamic Panorama: The Heart of Charleroi
Belgium was one of the first countries on the continent,
where iron and steel was produced in large industrial style.
The foundation was laid by the Englishman William Cockerill,
who erected textile mills with modern machinery in Verviers
and machine factories in Liège.
Minette ore, which was mined in numerous pits in the Lorraine area,
was the basis for dozens of steel mills in Rombas, Longwy, Hagondange ...
just to mention a few.
In Germany industrial production of iron in large scale began in the Siegen area,
where ironstone was mined. With the introduction of coke steel production in
the Ruhr area became more and more important.
The Thyssen steel mill in Duisburg Bruckhausen and Schwelgern
grew to the size of a small town, and today two of the world's
largest blast furnaces are in operation there.
Once the banks of the Monongahela and Ohio River
in Pennsylvania were seamed with steel mills.
Although many of them were already closed
when I visited the area in 1992, I could still
find more than 50 blast furnaces within a single week!