PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – Andrew Feight, Professor of History at Shawnee State University, will give a public talk on Scioto County’s history in the iron and steel industry at 6 p.m. on Thurs., Feb. 4, at the Southern Ohio Museum.
Feight’s talk is a part of the new Ackerman Photo Collection exhibit at the museum.
The new exhibit highlights the scale of steel plant operations during the 1936 steel strike, which left one dead, many injured, made national headlines and contributed to the unionization of American industry.
By the time of the 1936 strike, the Portsmouth Works employed around 5,900 men, produced 500,000 tons of steel annually, and the average monthly payroll had reached $500,000. Nearly $6 million pumped into the local economy during this time. According to Feight, that would be an equivalent of $8 million per month or $96 million in local payroll annually in today’s time when adjusted for inflation.
“I’m excited once again to work with the Ackerman Collection, which is an unparalleled resource for local history, and I look forward to helping the museum bring its treasures of photographs to the public’s attention,” said Feight.
Feight and the Shawnee Digital History Lab also collaborated with the museum’s staff to curate the exhibit and select photos for inclusion in a soon-to-be-released update of “Scioto Historical,” the mobile app and website that allows its users to explore the history of Portsmouth and the surrounding region.
“Thanks to the Southern Ohio Museum and the SSU Development Foundation, The Shawnee Digital History Lab is able to further the development of the Scioto Historical project,” Feight said.
A tour of the gallery will follow after the conclusion of Feight’s talk.
The Southern Ohio Museum is located at 825 Gallia Street in Portsmouth.