Medical Altech Steel
posted by Jonathan Haeber alias TunnelBug on Tuesday 13th of February 2018 10:13:12 AM
Former employee time log books stored away near the laboratory building at the Altech Steel headquarters in Watervliet, New York. Today, Allegheny Ludlum Corporation is one of the largest manufacturers of specialty steel and other specialty metals in the United States. Stainless steel, by far the principal product line of Allegheny Ludlum, accounts for about 80 percent of its total sales and ranks it among the three largest manufacturers of the specialty metal. The plant in Watervliet, New York had its beginnings in the early 1900s, when the Corning family brought Ludlam Steel to the area from New Jersey. In the late 1930s the company merged with Allegheny Steel in Pittsburgh. The company is famous for manufacturing the steel used for New York's Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the Model A Ford. The vast complex in Watervliet reached peak production during World War II, when about 5,000 were employed. By 1976, the company changed its name to Altech and "times were good," as workers produced steel products for BMW, the medical industry, and the space program. But by the 1980s, AlTech's steel work kept going to cheaper companies overseas. "Everyone went their separate ways after working together for years --some were there 35 or 40 years. We were like a big family," said Wayne Simmons of Rensselaer, who started at the company as a young man in 1977 and left in 1999 when it closed. The former site is littered with industrial waste, some of which may be radioactive. Allegheny-Ludlum Steel rolled uranium billets into rods for the Atomic Energy Commission which eventually fueled Hanford production reactors. The site still sits abandoned, despite a massive EPA cleanup effort.