Steel is part of America's future (production rising each year since 1991, exports inching up next to imports) as well as its past. But what a past! - as visitors to historical displays in Pittsburgh know, and as millions more will be able to contemplate in three years or so on the site of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation's original factory in Bethlehem, Pa. There the company will join with Washington's Smithsonian Institution in a new $60 million National Museum of Industrial History.
A 19th-century locomotive and other items from the Smithsonian's vast collections will be on exhibition along with objects from Bethlehem's storehouse. Attention must be paid to inventors, entrepreneurs, and workers of a mighty era as America now moves further into the variously called information age, third wave (after those of agriculture and industry), service economy, or post-industrial society. May its spirit always be true as steel.