In 1875, the Lackawanna Iron & Coal Company installed Bessemer Converters in order to convert their pig iron into steel. The steel works was located across Cedar Avenue where the General Dynamics plant now stands.
The Bessemer process involved charging a large egg-shaped vessel with several tons of molten pig iron and blowing air through passages in the bottom. The resulting shower of sparks was the excess carbon being burned off. Rather than remove all the carbon, the blows (periods of blast) were timed so that a small percentage of it remained, thus creating steel. Steel rail was much more durable than iron and by 1876, had become the standard in the railroad industry.
In 1883, following a disagreement with fellow board members, William Scranton left the firm and, with the help of his brother Walter, built the Scranton Steel Company. The new works was located about one mile to the west of this site on the banks of the Lackawanna River. Scranton Steel also produced steel rails utilizing the Bessemer process. Competition between the two firms ended in 1891, when they merged to form the titan Lackawanna Iron and Steel Company - the third largest steel works in America.
The length of rail on display was rolled at Scranton Steel in May 1889.