Summary Information
Title: Photographs of Frederick T. Gretton
Collection Number: MSP#328
Creator: Frederick T. Gretton
Collection Dates: 1881-1908
Collection Dates: 1881-1890
Extent: .75 cubic feet (1 box)
Frederick Thomas Gretton was the first chief chemist of Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation, located on the South Side of Pittsburgh. He took numerous photographs of his workplace and city surroundings. The majority of the pictures are of the Jones and Laughlin steel mill on the South Side and they show a wide variety of scenes from blast furnaces to the a parade float. Most of these photos are of Jones and Laughlin buildings and the employees who worked in them.


The material in this collection is in English.


Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222


This finding aid has been encoded as a part of the Historic Pittsburgh project a joint effort of the University of Pittsburgh and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Funding for this portion of the project has been donated by the Hillman Foundation.
Date Published:

Winter, 2001-2002

This guide to the collection was originally prepared by Kathleen McDermott on March 6, 2001. Revisions occurred to the finding aid as a part of the encoding process in Winter, 2001-2002.

Encoded by Doug MacGregor on February 25, 2002 from an existing finding aid. >Reviewed by Curator on
Revision Description:
July 1, 2006:
Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002

Biographical Sketch of Frederick Thomas Gretton (1864-c1933)

For the biographical sketch of Frederick Thomas Gretton, please see MSS #328.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Frederick T. Gretton photographs are housed in one archival box and one photo album. Many of the photographs deal with the steel industry and nearly all of them are identified and dated. The photographs in the archival box are separated into categories and arranged alphabetically. Several of the photographs in the box are duplicates. The majority of the pictures are of the Jones and Laughlin steel mill on the South Side and they show a wide variety of scenes from blast furnaces to the a parade float. Most of these photos are of Jones and Laughlin buildings and the employees who worked in them. A few of the photographs, such as a picture of a Bessemer converter "blowing heat" at night, were displayed in the Smithsonian Institute. There are also some photographs of Edgar Thompson Steelworks in Braddock, the Homestead steel mills, and the Lucy Furnace. A handful of these photographs were taken from various places on the Monongahela River and several are overviews of the South Side. Most of the pictures of the South Side are of Ormsby and an area called Brownstown, which was located between 27th and 36th streets in Ormsby. There is also a photo of an area called Williamsburg, which was next to Ormsby [now Lower St. Clair]. There are photographs of local disasters like the Hill Farm mine explosion and the Johnstown flood. Several photographs deal with various railroad scenes, such as P. & L.E. locomotives, Bessie tracks, trestlework along the Monongahela River, and the construction of the Hot Metal Bridge. This collection contains a professional photograph of Frederick T. Gretton and a self-portrait of him and his brother, Thomas John Gretton, which was taken from their reflection in the mirror. Other photographs are of the Barnum and Bailey Circus, the Allegheny County Courthouse, the Point and the Six Mile Ferry.

A number of the photographs in the photo album are duplicates of those in the archival box. The album, which contains about forty photographs, is arranged chronologically and the photo pages are numbered. Photographs are missing from pages 27, 40, 43, and 44. Each photo has a typed caption on the preceding page, but some of the photos and captions are loose at the end of the album. Many of the photographs are of Jones and Laughlin Steel on the South Side. These pictures are of blast furnaces, buildings, the gas well, employees, the JL boat and the JL coal mine. There are photographs of the South Side, including a few of Sarah Street and Carey Alley. The album also contains pictures of Bessie tracks, locomotives, the Hot Metal Bridge and trestlework in the Monongahela River. A few of the photographs in the album are of Columbia Iron and Steel in Uniontown and there is an advertisement for Jones and Laughlin from 1894.

Controlled Access Terms
  • Labor and laboring class -- photographs -- 1920's
  • Hill Farm Mine Explosion
Corporate Names
  • Allegheny County Courthouse
  • Aspinwall-Brilliant Pumping Station
  • Barnum and Bailey Circus
  • Carnegie Steel Company -- Homestead Works
  • Carnegie Steel Company -- Edgar Thomson Works
  • Jones and Laughlin Steel Company
  • Pennsylvania and Lake Erie Railroad
Personal Names
  • Gretton, Frederick Thomas (1864-c1933)
  • Gretton Family
  • South Side(Pittsburgh, Pa.) -- 19th century -- photographs
Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Aquisition Information:

These materials came in one accession in 1987.

Acc# 1987.65 Gift of the Estate of Mrs. Wilbur F. Galbraith, (Papers and Photographs. Daughter of Frederick T. Gretton).

Preferred Citation:

Photographs of Frederick T. Gretton, 1881-1908, MSP# 328, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Kathleen McDermott on March 6, 2001.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Doug MacGregor on February 25, 2002.


Property rights reside with the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or publish, please contact the curator of the Archives.

Contents List

Box 1
folder 1 Allegheny County Courthouse 1889
folder 2 Aspinwall-Brilliant Pumping Station n.d.
folder 3 Barnum and Bailey Circus 1885
Double-sided prints
folder 4 Brilliant Pumping Station and Southside Waterworks c1884
folder 5 Monongahela River and Summit National Pike 1885-1886
folder 6 Edgar Thomson Steelworks 1886-1887
folder 7 Gretton Family 1883
folder 8 Hill Farm Mine Explosion 1890
folder 9 Homestead Steelworkers n.d.
folder 10 Hot Metal Bridge 1887
folder 11 Johnstown Flood 1889
Jones and Laughlin Steel
folder 12 Construction 1885
folder 13 Exterior 1881-1885
folder 14 1882-1887
folder 15 Working 1886
folder 16 Gas well 1884
folder 17 Monongahela River scenes 1886-1888
folder 18 Pinion wheel 1886
folder 19 Sesquicentennial parade float 1908
folder 20 Lucy Furnace n.d.
folder 21 Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Locomotive 1888
folder 22 The Point 1905
folder 23 Six Mile Ferry 1885
folder 24 Browstown/Ormsby 1885
folder 25 Ormsby and Williamsburg 1885
folder 26 View of Southside 1888
folder 27 unidentified
volume shelf Photo Album 1881-1894