The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
The Furnace Crew
"The keeper of the furnace was a negro... I watched him to see how he managed the four white men that worked for him. They were Austrians, and I found they joked together and showed no resentment of status. Commands were given with a nod or a gesture. With the American on the furnace, the relationship was a traditional one." 
"Steel: The Diary of a Furnace Worker': Charles Rumford Walker, 1922 

Photograph: African American Steel Worker, Midland, PA, July 1938 — Library of Congress