The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Midvale Steel — 1867
Site Name: Midvale Steel

Location: Philadelphia

Dates of Operation: 1867 to 1923

Owners: Edward Clark and William Sellers; Butcher Steel Works; Midvale Steel; Midvale Steel & Ordnance Company

Historical Significance: In the 1870s, Midvale was the nation’s prominent military contractor. William Sellers invented a standard thread for machine screws and bolts. Frederick Taylor, the father of “scientific management,” worked at Midvale, where he began the experiments that led to his invention of high-speed tool steel. Through the 1910s, Midvale was known for its production of armor plate. After World War I, Midvale could not compete with the larger corporations and Bethlehem Steel purchased three of its plants.