The JONES AND LAUGHLIN STEEL CORP. (CLEVELAND WORKS) began in 1873 when CHAS. A. OTIS with 2 associates formed the Otis Iron & Steel Co. It was the first firm in America formed exclusively to make acid, open-hearth steel. Under Samuel T. Wellman's guidance, the new Otis mill on the lakeshore at E. 33rd St. produced its first basic open-hearth steel in 1880. Six years later, the plant was one of the first to manufacture steel ingots by the basic open-hearth method. Although British interests purchased the firm in 1889, management remained in local hands. In 1912 it was incorporated as the Otis Steel Co. and built a new plant along the CUYAHOGA RIVER near Jennings Rd. By 1919 the Riverside plant acquired the facilities of the adjacent Cleveland Furnace Co., organized in 1902 by David T. Croxton to produce pig iron. The postwar recession caused the British investors to sell Otis to a group of Clevelanders, and ELROY J. KULAS became president in 1925. Under his direction, production expanded, reaching an annual capacity of 890,000 tons of steel by 1928. Kulas's efforts allowed Otis to weather the Depression, during which, in 1932, it constructed the widest continuous hot strip mill in the world. Otis was involved in war production in 1942, when it was purchased by Pittsburgh's Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., established in 1853. Following World War II, J&L expanded the Riverside plant and dismantled the antiquated Lakeside plant. The Cleveland Works reached peak production in the early 1970s, producing 3 million tons of steel per year and employing 4,000. In 1974 Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc., later known as LTV CORP., gained control of J&L. LTV merged J&L with the REPUBLIC STEEL CORP. to form LTV Steel in 1984.
Morell, Admiral Ben. "J&L": The Growth of an American Business (1953).
Otis Steel Co. The Otis Steel Company—Pioneer, Cleveland, Ohio (1929).
Otis Steel Co. A Photographic Presentation of the Otis Steel Co. (1939?).