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Where Does Steel Come From?
Posted by Tom Klemens on August 5, 2010 at 8:09 AM.

In 1959 U.S. Steel released its 22-minute animated industrial film “Rhapsody of Steel.” Made by John Sutherland (who got his start working on Disney’s “Bambi”), the film explained not only the origins of steel and how it’s made, but also looked ahead to the role steel would play in the future (i.e., today). It featured the Pittsburgh Symphony playing an original score by Oscar-award winning composer Dmitri Tiomkin.


We had a copy of the soundtrack recording when I was growing up. One side had the narration, the other was just the music. I played that record over and over, flipping through the pages of the read-along storybook that came with it. My dad had worked at U.S. Steel for several years, so I’m sure we went to see it in the theater, too.


I thought that was nothing but a bunch of memories until I recently came across the Animation Archive on the International Animated Film Society: ASIFA-Hollywood website. You can view the film there by visiting


Incidentally, The American Iron and Steel Institute also has posted several videos showing actual footage of mill operations. They include the older two-part series “Steel – The Metal Giant” and the more recent three-part series “New Steel – The Strength of the Future.” You can view the AISI videos on its YouTube channel by clicking here.

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