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MidStates Steel and Wire: Success and Failure. By: Chris, Mark, Alex and Brittany. MidStates; The Beginning. Industry has played a vital role in the growth of Montgomery County since the late 1800’s.

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midstates steel and wire success and failure

MidStates Steel and Wire: Success and Failure

By: Chris, Mark, Alex and Brittany

midstates the beginning
MidStates; The Beginning
  • Industry has played a vital role in the growth of Montgomery County since the late 1800’s.
  • Organized in 1900, the Crawfordsville Wire and Nail company grew from a small beginning to one of Crawfordsville's greatest assets
  • The plant drew its wire from rods shipped from the Keystone plant at Peoria, Illinois.
  • MidStates was formed in March 1928, when the Wire and Nail Company was purchased from its owners.
  • By 1929,the plant had a wire drawing capacity of 175 tons every 24 hours.
  • It was eventually merged with the Dwiggins Wire Fence Company of Anderson to become MidStates Steel and Wire Company.
  • MidStates introduced many new technology machines and ideas.
  • They supplied many jobs for people in and around the Crawfordsville area.
  • It was one of the most successful businesses of its kind in the Midwest.
  • It helped business in Montgomery county boom.
brand new technology
Brand New Technology
  • The Hooded Automatic Pickler (HAP).
  • It was the first company in the nation to put this process into working condition.
new technology contd
New Technology Contd.
  • It cleans rods using a sulfuric acid and water solution.
  • There are only five of these such processes in the world, and it was started by Gus Generis.
inside the hap
Inside the HAP
  • Cost: $2 million
  • Contains its own closed circuit.
  • Allows the operator to select a cleaning process and transports the rods through the machine within seconds.
  • The wire isn’t manually handled until it is transported to the next station.
acid pollution
Acid Pollution
  • Nails and equipment were rusting
  • The sulfuric acid was used to get rid of rust
  • Leftover acid was dumped underground
  • Trees started growing over waste
  • People started to doubt Midstates’ procedures
closing open doors
Closing open Doors
  • Midstates closed in 1997 due to loss of business partners.
  • The owners never came back to clean up
  • Many chemical barrels were left
  • Became a huge fire threat.
the end of midstates
The End of MidStates
  • Two tragic fires eventually engulfed the building
  • Arson was thought to be the cause
  • Homeless people and/or teenagers were blamed.
explanation of the first fire
Explanation of The First Fire
  • The first fire, happened on March 31, 2003.
  • The fire turned out to be a three-block residential area evacuation.
  • A local plant had to shut down and people were to leave their homes for the rest of the day.
explanation of the second fire
Explanation of The Second Fire
  • The second fire, happened on April 29, 2003.
  • It was said that an adolescent who started the fire.
  • Another possibility is that juveniles or even mid-aged people may had methamphetamine laboratories.
  • The second fire caused an evacuation and local companies to be shut down
problems caused by fires
Problems Caused By Fires..
  • Breathing Problems for local residents.
  • Burnt down building in a residential area.
  • The company site still hasn’t been cleaned up and it has been well over a year.
  • Anyone who visits this area could become ill from these poisonous pollutants in the air.
costs of damages and repairs
Costs of Damages and Repairs
  • The total cost of damages needed to be repaired will be approximately $279,000.
midstates today
MidStates Today
  • 2 Lafayette attorneys have bought the factory
  • Improvements have been made since.
  • Doubts still remain
the pollution conflict

The Pollution Conflict

Effects of zinc, lead, and oil/lubricant combustion, and many other pollution-related problems

oil lubricant combustion
Oil/Lubricant Combustion
  • The act of burning oil, lubricants, and other fuel-related chemicals in a non-proper form
  • Also called PIC’s (Products of Incomplete Combustion)
  • Midstates claims oil/lubricants were used to help manufacture products
what caused the pollution
What caused the pollution
  • Abandoned oils/lubricants were left in the factory when Midstates shut down
  • Fires have reached the chemicals, polluting air with smoke and combustion pollutants
combustion pollutants
Combustion pollutants
  • Harmful chemicals caused by burning other dangerous pollutants
carbon monoxide co
Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Odorless and colorless gas
  • Hundreds die each year from CO in their homes
  • Reduces the ability of hemoglobin in blood
  • Causes:
    • Paralysis
    • Coma
    • Death
nitrogen dioxide no 2
Nitrogen dioxide(NO2)
  • Damages the respiratory tract
  • Highly toxic
  • Red-brown gas
  • Or:
  • Yellow liquid
sulfur dioxide so 2
Sulfur dioxide(SO2)
  • Irritates:
    • Eyes
    • Nose
    • Respiratory tract
  • Tiny particles that make up smoke
  • Damages:
    • Eyes
    • Throat
    • Nose
health effects
Health effects
  • Combustion pollutants can cause such problems as:
    • Headaches
    • Dizziness
    • Sleepiness
    • Nausea
    • Irritated Eyes
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Cancer
lead pb poisoning
Lead (Pb) Poisoning
  • No obvious symptoms
  • Causes loss of auditory memory
  • Destroys red blood cells
  • Brain damage
zinc zn poisoning
Zinc (Zn) Poisoning
  • Causes:
    • Vomiting
    • Nausea
    • Liver/Kidney failure
    • Anemia
what is the exxon valdez
What is the Exxon Valdez
  • The Exxon Valdez is an oil tanker that ran aground in Alaska on March 23 1989.
  • It was one of the most know oil accidents in the World.
  • The captain was Joe Hazelwood.
how did the accident occur
How Did the Accident Occur
  • The tanker was headed toward icebergs, but was unable to be steered away by both Gregory Cousins and Robert Kagan
  • Gregory Cousins was his third mate and was presumed to be fatigued during the accident.
how did the accident occur39
How Did the Accident Occur
  • Exxon hit the iceberg and then curved off toward the land
how does this compare to other accidents
How Does This Compare to Other Accidents
  • The Exxon Valdez is one of the largest oil spills in the United States.
  • It is considered the #1 spill in terms of damage to the environment.

Compared to Other Accidents

  • 1,300 miles were impacted by oil.
  • 200 miles were heavily impacted.
  • It cause one of the hardest clean ups in the history of spills
the big clean up
The Big Clean-Up
  • It took more than four summers of clean up efforts before the clean up was called off.
  • Not all beaches were cleaned.
  • The clean up effort included; 10,000 workers, 1,000 boats, and 100 airplanes.
clean up continued
Clean-Up Continued
  • The clean up cost about $2.1 billion
  • They used hot water treatment, mechanical cleanup, and chemical agents.
environment effects
Environment Effects
  • It is unknown how many deaths of animals there were from the spill.
  • The carcasses of more than 35,000 birds and 1,000 sea otters were found after the spill.
  • The results of tests taken near the spill are still unknown
another case
Another Case
  • The MidStates building also had lead and zinc poisoning.
  • A mine located in Marmorilik in West Greenland also had problems with lead and zinc.
another case46
Another Case
  • The mine resulted in serious lead and zinc pollution of a large nearby fjord system.
  • High levels of lead and zinc were found in seawater, sediments, seaweed, and fish around the area.


Ways to solve Midstate’s problem

solution i
Solution I
  • Haul all harmful chemicals out of Midstates
  • Pros-
    • No more pollution by Midstates to affect Crawfordsville
    • No more harmful fires
  • Cons
    • Chemicals would affect other areas
    • Disaster could occur from car crash, acid rain, etc.
solution ii
Solution II
  • Demolish the Midstates building and have a massive cleanup
  • Pros-
    • The Midstates area will be clean
    • Make way for new economic opportunities
  • Cons
    • Chemicals could escape and cause major pollution problems
    • Demolishing the building could affect other buildings
solution iii
Solution III
  • Pollution-eating bacteria
  • Pros-
    • Would break down all chemicals into atoms, causing no more harm
    • Less labor work
  • Cons-
    • Don’t know if product is 100% effective
    • Bacteria may eat something else after done eating chemicals
  • EVOS-Oil Spill Facts-Q & A, April 21st, 2004 www.oilspill.state.ak.us/facts/qanda.html
  • EVOS-Oil Spill Facts-Photos, April 21st, 2004 www.oilspill.state.ak.us/facts/photos.html
  • Valdez Link.com, April 21st, 2004 www.valdezlink.com/inpol/pages/album.htm
  • Batelle.org, April 21st


bibliography continued
Bibliography (continued)
  • Chemical Elements.com, April 30th, 2004


· Chemistry: Webelements Periodic Table, April 30th, 2004


  • Corwin, Dan. Interviewed May 7th, 2004.
  • Zinc Poisoning, April 30th, 2004 http://www.birdieboutique.com/zincpoisoning.html
bibliography continued53
Bibliography (continued)
  • Environmental Protection Agency – Sulfur Dioxide, April 30th, 2004,


  • Sources of Indoor Pollution, April 29th,2004 http://www.epa.gov/iaq/no2.html
bibliography continued54
  • The Journal Review, May 6th, 2004, http://www.journalreview.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=8697&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&S=1
  • Cline, Pat. “Mid-States pioneers new process in U.S.”. Montgomery. April 1978
  • Curtin, Charles and Gineris, Gus.“Inland Wire Products Company”. Mid-Statements. 1957
bibliography continued55
  • Posthauer, Ron. Interviewed May 7th, 2004.
  • Cline, Pat. Crawfordsville: A Pictorial History. St. Louis: G. Bradley Publishing, 1991.
  • Pollution Eating Bacteria. May 3rd, 2004. http://newsdesk.inel.gov/press_releases/1998/prpollutioneatingbacteria2.html
  • CBC News: Pollution-eating bacteria may help with cleanups. May 3rd, 2004. http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2002/10/31/tca021031