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Rolling On:

Two Hundred Years of Blair Iron and Steel

book cover Rolling On

For almost a century, the Blair Strip Steel Company of New Castle, Pennsylvania, has made cold-rolled specialty steel beyond a world-class standard. The current Blair company was founded in 1923 to serve the burgeoning automobile market, but the story of the Blair family’s impact on the iron and steel industry began in the late 1700s and continues today.


Despite facing significant adversity – economic depression, war, the rise of China, the fall of American manufacturing – Blair Strip Steel remains one of the most successful steelmakers in the country and a beloved institution for its employees and community. On the shoulders of eight generations of Blair entrepreneurs, the company maintains its formula for small business success and continues to forge the future of material science. 

Who is this book for?

Rolling On was written to recognize the remarkable people who made the Blair Strip Steel Company what it is today and to celebrate the milestone of doing business "the Blair way" for almost a century.


This book is also for readers who are interested in​​​

  • New Castle, Western Pennsylvania, and the Rust Belt region

  • the history of the American iron and steel industries

  • a business case study that challenges the usual narratives about growth and corporate team building

  • a small-business success story

“In this book, author Carlee Tressel Alson follows the trail of the Blairs from their arrival in the American colonies in the 1700s to Western Pennsylvania today. The Blairs were not unique in coming from Scotland to Pennsylvania, nor evolving from ironmakers to steelmakers, nor proving that hard work brings reward at many levels. But they are nearly unique in persevering as a company, so far, for eight amazing generations. . . .


The current company is Blair Strip Steel in New Castle, Pennsylvania, now ninety-seven years old. It was preceded by many more entities along the way, as the Blair family continually reinvented itself to match the demands of the iron and steel markets of their time.”

—from the Foreword by Bruce Kinney, Chairman and CEO of Blair Strip Steel

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