magnitogorsk_steel_production_facility_1930s

Magnitogorsk was to become a one-industry town modeled after two of the most advanced steel producing cities in the United States at that time — Gary, Indiana, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At this time, hundreds of foreign experts kept coming here in order to implement and direct the work.

In 1928, a Soviet delegation arrived in Cleveland, Ohio to discuss with American consulting company Arthur G. McKee a plan to set up in Magnitogorsk a copy of the US Steel steel mill in Gary. The contract was four times increased and eventually the new plant had a capacity of over four million tons annually.

It was a showpiece of Soviet achievement. Huge reserves of iron ore in the area made it a prime location to build a steel plant capable of challenging its Western rivals. However, a large proportion of the workforce, as ex-peasants, typically had few industrial skills and little industrial experience. To solve these issues, several hundred foreign specialists arrived to direct the work, including a team of architects headed by the German Ernst May.

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