AfriGeneas States Research Forum
[PA] Midvale Steel & African-American workers
1917-18 WW I, Draft Registration (source: Ancestry Library Edition)
Richard Alexander Lampkin, 44
Born Aug. 15, 1873
Residence: 331 W. Bay?, Westchester, Chester Co., PA
Employment: laborer, Midvale Steel & Ordnance Co., Delaware Co., PA
Wife: Rebecca J. Lampkin
1917-18 WW I Draft Registration
During World War I, Richard Alexander Lampkin and his wife Rebecca J. Strange Lampkin moved from their home in Clarke County, VA to Westchester, PA, and later to Atlantic City, NJ. Armistead Churchwell Strange, Rebecca J. Strange Lampkin, and Pittsburgh steelworker Reuben Strange are children of John and Chloe Strange of Clarke County, VA. The following information was found on Pennsylvania history web pages.
…Midvale Steel, noted for its production of armor-plate, the experiments of management guru Frederick Taylor, and its employment of African-American workers. Midvale emerged after 1873, when Edward Clark and William Sellers began to transform the company into Philadelphia’s largest steel works…For close to a decade, Midvale was the nation’s preeminent military contractor, until Bethlehem Steel in the mid-1880s and then also Carnegie Steel entered this supremely lucrative market…In the late 1800s, Philadelphia had the largest African American population of any industrial city. In a city where skilled jobs were largely restricted to white workers, Midvale was well known for hiring unusually large numbers of African American workers. When W.E.B. Dubois was conducting research for his path-breaking sociological study The Philadelphia Negro (1901) in the late 1890s, African Americans constituted 200 of Midvale’s1,200 workers. In 1900 as many as 1,000 of the company’s 3,400 workers were African American… During World War I a flood of military orders forced Midvale to expand its Nicetown plant workforce to 11,500, including 4,000 African Americans, most of whom were part of the ongoing “Great Migration" from the American South.