Formation of Industry:  1850 - 1900

    The Moravians maintained an isolated community until they were struck by the American wave of industrialization in the mid-nineteenth century.  Within a few decades, Bethlehem became a divided city, with the religious sect maintaining their lifestyle on the north bank of the Lehigh River, and a new, industrial "South Side" forming on the opposite bank.  The South Side attracted most of the new industry, which included railroads and iron production.  Along with this industry came many immigrants who were looking for work.  These new inhabitants brought with them many diverse traditions which combined to give South Bethlehem a unique character - a small-scale American melting pot.  It was at this time that Behtlehem's notable steel industry started, though originally as an iron company.  With help from local railroads and the national military, Bethlehem Steel started on a growth spurt that would not end until over a century later.


 Growth of Bethlehem  Iron and Industry