Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor

Learn about the steel industry that dominated Youngstown in the 20th century

Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor

151 West Wood Street, Youngstown, OH, USA
We are a Blue Star museum offering past and present military and their families (up to five) and National Guard free admission from June 2 through Labor Day. During the rest of the year, we offer all military and their families half-price admission.

Museum Hours of Operation:
Wed. - Fri. • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sat. • 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Archive/Library Hours of Operation:

Wed. & Fri. • 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Thurs. • 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
First and third Saturday of the month during the YSU academic year • 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

The museum will be closed:
Independence Day
Labor Day Weekend
Veteran’s Day
November - Thanksgiving Week----Closed Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday,
Winter Break----Closed mid-December through early January*

*Special hours: Open First Night----Saturday, December 31 5pm – 10pm

Reopen for Regular Hours----Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Visit the Archives Website
Adult - $7.00 Senior - $6.00 Student - $3.00 Ohio History Connection Member - $0.00 Children under 6 - $0.00 YSU students - $0.00 AAA Discount - $1.00 Class Tours - $3.00/student (Free for teachers and chaperones)


Rich in resources, Ohio has long been a center of manufacturing in the United States.

Learn about the steel industry that dominated Youngstown in the 20th century and check out the “last heats,” the final batches of steel produced at each of the mills before they closed.

The museum features hundreds of photographs representing labor, immigration and urban history. Objects on display range from workers’ tools and clothing to hundreds of photographs, some more than 30 feet long. Life-sized scenes—including a mill’s locker room, part of a company-built house, and a blooming mill, where steel ingots were shaped for further processing—help visitors understand steelmaking and the lives of steelworkers. Average visit time: Allow 1+ hours

In addition to exhibits, the center offers educational programs and an archives/library. Part of the Ohio Network of American History Research Centers, the archives/library serves as a repository for local government records, as well as manuscripts collected from workers, companies and labor organizations.

Teacher Resources:

Class tours can be booked at [email protected]. Tours are $3.00 per student. Teachers and chaperones receive free admission. Class/group tours and inquiries can now be booked through: [email protected]

HINT: Limit your results to collections held by this location on the left side panel by checking Youngstown Histoical Center of Industry and Labor under Held by Library.


In 1845, deposits of block coal—which could be used in iron furnaces without being converted to coke —were discovered near Youngstown. These coal deposits, along with the area’s seams of high-quality iron ore, were a major catalyst for the growth of the iron industry in northeastern Ohio. The nation’s westward expansion increased demand for iron, guaranteeing that the Mahoning Valley’s iron furnaces would stay busy. By the 1850s, the valley was one of the nation’s leading centers of iron production.

The Mahoning Valley gradually made the switch to steel production. The Ohio Steel Company, organized in 1892, was the valley’s first steel company. By the turn of the century, most of the area’s iron makers had consolidated into huge steel mills that did everything in one place, from processing ore to finishing steel products. By the 1920s, the Mahoning Valley was second only to Pittsburgh in American steel production. Spurred by World War II and postwar growth, steelmaking in the nation increased, peaking in 1973. Within 10 years, the steel industry was a shadow of its former self.

Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor is managed locally by Youngstown State University.

To learn more about the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.

The Youngstown Sheet & Tube Bulletin is now digital. The Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company published a worker newsletter from 1919 through its closure in the 1970s. Click here to learn about the life and work of these steelworkers.

  • Audiences: K-5th Grade Students, 6-8th Grade Students, 9-12th Grade Students, Higher Education Students, Educators, Families, Government, Specialists, Tourists, Community Groups, History Enthusiasts & Sports Fans
  • Historical Topics: Industry & Labor
  • Regions: Northeast Ohio
  • Site Activities: Self-Guided
  • Museum & Site Type: Ohio History Connection Site & Historic Site, Museum