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PATRON – Living conditions were difficult in early steel days – this film & vintage photographs tell the tale

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17 comments

  1. Lived in Fairfield in 1970 and remember going out and the car was so dirty with pollution. Later after environmental changes you could really tell a difference. But sorry they lost so many needed jobs!

  2. 1936 was in the middle of the Great Depression, which took Birmingham about 50 years to recover from. I noted that the mill houses had no shade and no ventilation in the roofs. They must have been like ovens during summer.

  3. mu grandfather and grandmother met there in the early 1920s working in a basket factory. They moved back to my grandmothers farm in Weoka after the doctor instructed because the pollution was so bad and she had issues breathing.

  4. Is the statue of Vulcan still standing? Birmingham was also known as the “Little Pittsburgh of the South” because of those steel mills.

    1. Yes they even have an elevator to go to the top now besides the stairs . It’s beautiful there and has a shop and history of the place inside

  5. My 4great-grandparents was some of the first settlers of what is now Jefferson County. They lived at Fort Jonesboro in 1815 the Ruhama (now East Lake) community in 1819.

  6. I’ve seen Valley Creek run red with creosote. I don’t really know what that is but that’s what my daddy said it was.

  7. Now the federal government has killed the steel industry in this country.

  8. Karen, I love you posting these…and I like to share with Pam…thanks

  9. @ Alabama Pioneers – Why not? do a piece on the B’ham Company, “Hardy Tynes Air Compressors.” I am of the opinion that these machines sustained the US Submarine fleet for many years. I served on 3 US subs, in the early-mid 1950s, all had a Hardy Tynes Air Compressor..it made me comfortable to see that bold logo, and “Made in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.. The air compressor is the vital “heart” of a sub and cannot, must not, fail.

  10. My neighbor and wonderful friend’s brother-in-law, the late Robert A McMasters, was a top ranking official of the steel industry in Birmingham.

    I love the story and especially the pictures!

  11. The photo of the “middle-class” housing on a hill by a cemetery is on Birmingham’s northside. The cemetery is the city’s Jewish burial ground, which is still occasionally used today. The locale is at or near 12th Avenue North and 4th Street North and is today and all black neighborhood…..

  12. I found this very interesting !! We need more like this !!!

  13. A great article.

  14. The cemetery is in Fountain Heights. Still kept and maintained and still used it’s Jewish but reminds me of New Orleans with the houses for the dead. I also have the book The earlier days in Birmingham I just posted on FB 2 days ago and another book written by a pioneers grandson a lawyer I think; a lot of them were lawyers and bankers and most sons who wasn’t entitled to inherit because that went to 1st borns then. It won’t allow me to post pic of the book

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