Saturday, July 31, 2021
A Trifecta of Industry

These days, as a region, we embrace our industrial heritage—references to iron and steel permeate today's local culture. In a way, it's an embarrassment of riches that allows our aluminum legacy to falter when celebrating the historical might of the Pittsburgh Industrial District. Perhaps it's the nature of the metal itself—being lighter, maybe its strength is not recognized as part of our perceptions of self? Or is aluminum just a bit too ubiquitous in our contemporary lives to stand out?

Regardless, let's change that attitude and take today to celebrate aluminum!

To start, you can read our featured article Aluminum in a Steel World: Pittsburgh's Industrial Legacies by Ron Baraff.

Then, you can check out our upcoming metal arts workshops: the three-day Sculptural Aluminum Casting and the three-hour Aluminum Casting Session.

Looking to learn more? Check out this historical timeline on Alcoa's website. We also encourage you to explore what's new in New Kensington, PA—a town that grew with Alcoa. Like other post-industrial communities, New Ken has seen some challenges, but today the stories you hear are about renewal, reuse, and resiliency. Rivers of Steel is excited to be part of it through our current partnership with the town's Murals on a Mission project.

That's about it for today—before you go, check out our latest video drop!
Aluminum Illustration, 1948. Illustration showing Charles Martin Hall and A.V. Davis showing “the Pittsburgh Spirit” making aluminum. Niziol Collection, Rivers of Steel.
Aluminum in a Steel World
First published in conjunction with the Metal from Clay exhibition by Pitt's University Art Gallery in the fall of 2019, this article by Ron Baraff shares the origins of aluminum and how it is inextricably linked with the Pittsburgh Spirit.
Sculptural Aluminum Casting
Create three-dimensional sculptural forms in cast aluminum—while learning patternmaking, mold making, and casting. Make your own molds or simply customize pre-made forms. No experience needed!
Aluminum Casting Session
Not ready for a three-day session? The Aluminum Casting Session is a great way to try something new! Take a class with a friend—create a special gift or unique piece of art. Join us to explore the metal casting process and learn how to create a unique pattern from everyday materials!
W.A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop
Perhaps you've heard us talk about the marvel that is the W.A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop. Words don't do it justice—watch the video!
Pittsburgh Taco Takeover
Sunday, August 1, 12:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Tomorrow, twenty of Pittsburgh’s premier food trucks will be offering their best takes on tacos at the Carrie Blast Furnaces, with everything from the most traditional to the wildly unexpected. This family-friendly event offers mountains of tacos...along with live music, beer, tequila, margaritas, tours, and more! 
Help preserve our region’s industrial and cultural heritage! Your tax-deductible contribution will help ensure that Rivers of Steel can continue to offer vital, engaging, community-based arts, education, and heritage programs for the residents of southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.