Joseph T. Ryerson and Son, Inc.

W 16th St & S Rockwell St
Chicago, IL 60608, US

Category: Industry

Used in the following map:

Labor Trail

In the early 1840s, Joseph T. Ryerson arrived in Chicago as an agent of a Pennsylvania iron firm, and soon opened his own shop at a site on the Chicago River. Although the 1871 Chicago Fire destroyed the Ryerson warehouse, the company rebuilt and continued to grow on the Chicago River until 1903, when it moved to this facility served by North Lawndale's many industrial rail lines. In 1935, Joseph T. Ryerson and Son, Inc., became a subsidiary of Inland Steel. The Ryerson plant, with significant capital investments, has remained in North Lawndale even as most of the neighborhood's industry left in the decades after World War II, and especially after 1970. Recently, the company has also funded community development and organization initiatives in the North Lawndale neighborhood. Ryerson also maintains a plant on the South Side near the intersection of 111th Street and the Bishop Ford Expressway (Interstate 94). The two accompanying photos show an aerial view of the North Lawndale plant (Chicago History Museum, ICHi-39815), and white-collar workers at the plant in 1941 (ICHi-39919). Today, the plants employ approximately 540 union workers represented by the joint United Steelworkers and Teamsters Union Local 714.


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