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AUTHOR TALK: Bethlehem Steel Rusting Relic With Steven & John Landis

August 10 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Join us for a guest lecture and book signing for “Bethlehem Steel Rusting Relic”. In 2001, the unthinkable happened when Bethlehem Steel declared bankruptcy after nearly a century and a half of making iron and steel for bridges, buildings, dams, railroad rail, ships, armor plating, armaments, and numerous other products. When the flagship plant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, closed, it sat abandoned for some years before the hallowed site was repurposed with a casino, hotel, restaurants, and shops. During the time in between, Steven M. Landis had rare, sanctioned access to photograph the derelict plant, capturing incredible photography of many never-before-seen and likely never-to-be-seen-again perspectives by climbing everything he could, both inside and outside the abandoned buildings, including to the top of the blast furnaces. When combined with his artistic eye, the viewers will find that Steven’s camerawork truly “elevates” Bethlehem Steel photography. His dad, John K. Landis, subsequently became an Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites tour guide in 2019 and began showing those photographs–published here for the first time–to visitors in order to reveal sections of the shuttered plant that were inaccessible or altogether gone. John wrote the accompanying text after hosting hundreds of Bethlehem Steel plant tours. Included with Museum Admission.

Steven M. Landis works as a key account manager in the automotive industry, where he has been employed in a variety of roles for nearly two decades. He is an inventor and creative writer, enjoys the agony and elation of mountain climbing, and loves photographing the beautiful, bizarre, and especially hard-to-access or abandoned places. He regrets having been too young to ever have worked at Bethlehem Steel but counts the rare access he had exploring and photographing the hallowed grounds of the former flagship plant—where so much of modern U.S. and global history was written—as being among the best moments in his life.

John K. Landis, a steel plant tour guide with Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites, is often asked if he worked for Bethlehem Steel. He is in fact a graphic designer and professor emeritus of art. But, on tour days, he feels like he does work for this icon of American heavy industry, albeit as a “looper,” the name Bethlehem Steel gave to management trainees on a “loop course” around the plant as they learned about the company. It is with this perspective that John wrote text to accompany the photographs, awed as he is by the beauty of our industrial heritage and eager to pass along his continuously evolving knowledge of the might and majesty of the steel industry of
the past.


National Museum of Industrial History
602 E 2nd Street
Bethlehem, 18015 United States
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AUTHOR TALK: Bethlehem Steel Rusting Relic With Steven & John Landis

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