The 1920s were tough. Brutal, actually.
And it would be the foundry that kept
the business alive. An ambitious plan for
a plate mill was idled until 1928, as were
the open hearth furnaces. Two electric
furnaces handled all the basic production,
except for the odd large sale order when
one of the open hearths would be fired
up to fulfill the order.
Despite the challenges, the company
managed to survive. 1928 was the break
out year and the company was back to
making castings, forgings and plate.
Although there was decent demand, the
plate mill was operating at less than a
quarter of its capacity and the company
brass decided to diversify their product.
They looked to lighter gauge steels and
decided that tin would be the ticket. Up
to this point, all tin had been imported
from the U.S.
The decision set forth a challenge to
figure out how to make it with the
available equipment. The plate mill could
roll an ingot down significantly, but not
far enough. The solution? Convert the
plate mill to a “Steckel” hot strip mill.
The next step was to put a cold reduction
process in place. This was accomplished
by buying a pilot mill. The first all-
Canadian tin was off to market in 1935.
The tin did well enough to require a
second Cold Mill, which was added in
The 24/7 concept came into
play at this time as demand for the tin
was so high that the two cold mills were
absorbing enough tonnage to keep the
open hearth and hot mill departments
operating 24 hours a day.
Dofasco “Tin Girls” are legendary. With
swelling ranks during the Second World
War, the women were a critical part of
the laboratory and inspecting/sorting
areas—hundreds of Hamilton’s own
Rosie the Riveters.”
When the ticket was tin