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Molded Tooth Staggered Gear and Worker, 1913

Gift of Mesta Engineering Company, Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art Molded Tooth Staggered Gear and Worker, 1913
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The Mesta Machine Company churned and smoked on more than 20 acres of land along the Monongahela River.

Though its central product was steelmaking equipment — supplying some 500 mills around the globe — Americans had Mesta’s 3,000 employees to thank for their working cars and refrigerators, ship hulls and power plant turbines. During the Depression, then-​president Lorenz Iversen would announce each new contract by having a podium built on the shop floor, clambering up and shouting, “We got this job because you’re the best mechanics in the world!” Most of the plant’s employees hailed from nearby West Homestead, and it was the rare person who wasn’t in some way related to his colleagues.

PQ Staff

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