Big Steel Field Trips

Mansion to Milltown

Student workingExplore the sharply contrasting lifestyles of the people who made the steel industry in Pittsburgh in this collaboration between Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area and the Frick Art and Historical Center.  Students will learn about the steel-making process and about how capital, raw materials and geographic conditions combined to make Pittsburgh the steel center of the world.  They will also appreciate the impact of the industry on society and the environment, from the plush elegance of an executive's mansion to the smoky overcrowded housing of the mill workers and their dangerous workplace.  (Available in October and May only.)

Life on $1.65 a Day

student sewingA rich experiential student program that recreates a "day in the life" of the immigrants who poured into America at the turn of the century.  Domestic chores and labor gang jobs illustrate the intense physical demands immigrants faced to earn $1.65 a day in Pittsburgh's steel mills.  At the end of the day, students are paid and expenses withdrawn to relate the harsh realities of Life on $1.65 a Day.  Presented at the historic Pump House and Water Tower, site of the 1892 Battle of Homestead, Life on $1.65 a Day incorporates interdisciplinary elements into the program and presents information on the following topics:

  • Immigrant Patterns
  • American Labor Unions
  • Andrew Carnegie

To learn more about Rivers of Steel field trips, call 412-464-4020 or email


Our Rivers: Yesterday and Today

Our Rivers
The story of the Monongahela River is one of our nation’s history, our industrial revolutions and one of the men and women whose labors, previously and presently, earned the Monongahela River the title of “Ruhr” – The River of Sweat.

The Monogahela: River of Dreams, River of Sweat

The history of the hardest working river in America.