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data from Bethlehem Steel Corp.
Bethlehem Steel Size
Year Capacity Employees
1914 1.1 mil. tons 15,600
1925 8.5 60,000
1943 12.9 300,000
1957 19.0 165,000
1968 21.0 131,000
1973 23.7 ---
1978 21.0 ---
1981 22.0 84,000
1989 16.0 31,000

The effect of Bethlehem Steel's closing on middle-class families in Bethlehem is the subject of Billy Joel's song "Allentown." (Turn on your speakers and go back to the opening screen to hear it.)opening Though Allentown is actually a city 5 miles west of Bethlehem, the events in the song are uniquely Bethlehem's. Billy Joel is a native of the Philadelphia area, and must have witnessed the changes that occured there in only a few years. His voice gives an idea of the feelings of the young men of Bethlehem who no longer had their father's footstep's to follow. This song received international acclaim in the late eighties. The lyrics can be found here, and worth reading.
Recording from: Joel, Billy. "Allentown." Kohuept. Columbia, 1987.


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