The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Vernon Greenly

Born-Died: 1905 - 2000

Location: Baltimore County, Maryland

Site/Company: Lukens Steel Co.

Historical Significance:

Vernon Ross Greenly was a trailblazer in Pennsylvania’s steel industry, remembered in Hayti, PA, and Coatesville, PA, as the state’s first African-American Open Hearth ladleman.  This was a position he held as early as the Spring of 1935, when he was involved in the production of enormous elliptical steel heads to be used in the construction of oil cracking stills.

He was born in 1905 on the farm his parents owned in Baltimore County.  His maternal grandfather, Lafayette Lewis, was from Baltimore County, and served for three years in the US Colored Troops, both during and after the Civil War. 

Vernon also held an important Union Local 1165 role in 1944, on the wartime Labor-Management Committee for Plant Economy, and sang in a local gospel group called “The Pitmen,” comprised mainly of workers in Lukens’ Open Hearth pit.

Photograph - 1944, Lukens Steel

Iron and Steel Hall of Fame Induction - 2021 

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