Continuing Iron Age's Century-Long Tradition

Iron Age Timeline




Scotsman Andrew Carnegie begins his career in business as a divisional telegrapher on the Pennsylvania Railroad, while Irish immigrant John Williams establishes The Hardware Man’s Newspaper in Middletown, N.Y.



Sir Henry Bessemer introduces the Bessemer Process for steelmaking in Great Britain, a furnace technology that would revolutionize the industry in the nineteenth century.



Irish immigrant John Williams moves to New York City from Middletown, New York and begins publishing The Iron Age, a successor to the The Hardware Man’s Newspaper, which he had started in upstate New York four years before.



At the beginning of a divisive Civil War, the United States introduces a protective tariff on steel to protect steelmakers providing finished steel to the Union armies.



Steelmakers produce 872,327 tons of steel in the United States; nearly 40 percent of the steel consumed consists of steel rails.



John Williams sells The Iron Age to his son, David Williams, and dies the next year while on a trip to the Midwestern United States.



The Iron Age notes the formation of the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company by Boston industrialists Quincy Adams Shaw and Alexander Agassiz to mine and process the rich copper deposits of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.



The Iron Age reports that the first blow on a Bessemer Converter in the United States takes place at the Edgar Thomson Works in Pennsylvania’s Monongahela Valley.



David Williams maintains The Iron Age Library in his New York offices, consisting of 1,200 price lists and catalogues, 850 photographs, 50 atlases and maps, and 500 miscellaneous volumes.



U.S. steelmakers produced 8.226 million tons of finished steel, The Iron Age reports.



The Merritt Brothers ship the first iron ore from Minnesota’s Mesabi Range down the Great Lakes from the port of Duluth, creating a domestic supply of ore that would still be feeding the industry’s blast furnaces more than 120 years later.



Andrew Carnegie salutes David Williams and The Iron Age on the publication’s 40th birthday, describing himself as one of “the undisciplined few who began their wanderings under your guidance (and) have become the largest, best disciplined, and most effective army of ironmasters in the world.”



The Iron Age moves to the Rhinelander Building on Williams Street in New York City, where it occupies 4-1/2 floors of the new building.



The Iron Age reports that J.P. Morgan has consolidated the holdings of Andrew Carnegie and other U.S. steelmakers into U.S. Steel Corp., the nation’s first $1 billion company.



After 50 years with The Iron Age and its predecessor, David Williams sells his interest in the company to a group of Philadelphia trade magazines.



The Iron Age increasingly reports on how automobile manufacture is becoming a major customer for its readers in the steelmaking and metalworking industries.



The Iron Age headlines “a troubled year in the steel trade,” noting that in 1919 U.S. steelmakers suffered a three-month-long strike, falling prices, and production off 20 percent from the boom years during World War I.



United Publishers of New York absorbed the Philadelphia-based Chilton Company and became the publishers of The Iron Age.



United Publishers is saved from bankruptcy during the Great Depression and is reincorporated in Delaware as The Chilton Company, the publisher of Chilton’s Iron Age.



Domestic production of hot-rolled steel drops to 26.84 million tons, down more than 10 million tons from the 37.4 million tons Chilton’s Iron Age reported in 1925.



The United States ends World War II producing more than 60 million tons of hot-rolled steel a year, more than that produced by Germany and Japan combined.



The Chilton Company reported $1 million in profits for the first time; Chilton’s Iron Age accounted for three-quarters of the company’s profit.



Chilton’s Iron Age reports extensively on the four-month-long strike against U.S. steelmakers by the United Steelworkers (USWA) union.



Chilton’s Iron Age reports on the early stages of a 10-year building program that would see more than a dozen thousand-foot vessels built to haul iron ore and coal on the U.S. Great Lakes, a result of the construction of a new lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.



ABC Publishing purchases Chilton, the publisher of Chilton’s Iron Age, and ABC publishing is in turn purchased by Capital Cities six years later.



The nation’s iron and steel industries begin a decade-long restructuring in the ware of the worst recession since the late 1930s.



The scrap price editorial staff of Iron Age creates the weekly Fastmarkets SPB as a stand-alone, four-page newsletter mailed to subscribers because of plans to convert Iron Age from a weekly to a monthly magazine. El Hoefer, who soon would become Fastmarkets SPB editor, joined the staff.



Capital Cities/ABC merges the Iron Age Group of its Chilton subsidiary into the American Metal Market Group of its Fairchild Publications operation; Fairchild publishes Iron Age: The Management Magazine for Metal Producers monthly through 1993.



Nucor pioneers thin-slab technology at the firm’s electric arc furnace mini-mill in Crawfordsville, Indiana.



In order to better serve the needs of subscribers, a faxed version of the Bulletin is offered to complement the mailed newsletter.



Capital Cities/ABC redesigns Iron Age and launches it as the monthly Iron Age/New Steel Magazine.



Reed-Elsevier purchases all of the former Chilton magazines from Walt Disney Company, which had bought Capital Cities/ABC the previous year.



Fastmarkets SPB began its website,, and added monthly Market Reports to its coverage.



Cahners Business Information, a subsidiary of Reed Elsevier, sells its metals properties, including New Steel, Fastmarkets SPB, American Metal Market and Metal Center News to United Kingdom-based Metal Bulletin plc, which soon after ceased publication of New Steel.



Metal Bulletin PLC and its sister publications Fastmarkets SPB, American Metal Market, and Metal Bulletin are acquired by Euromoney Institutional Investor.



Fastmarkets SPB adopted a new logo, revamped its website and added a Trend Analysis to its weekly print and online coverage. Longtime editor El Hoefer retired at the end of the year; current editor John Ambrosia took over.



Fastmarkets SPB, which is still fondly referred to by many of its readers as Iron Age, carries on a 160-year-old tradition of publishing. It ended the printed form of the publication and unveiled a new more comprehensive website.