Vanessa Childs Rolls will speak at the next meeting of the Old Sydney Society on 24 November 2011 at the Centre for Heritage and Science, 225 George St., Sydney. The title of the talk is "Forging the Future: The Industrialization of Sydney Through Steel."
The Sydney steel plant was an integral part of Sydney’s city scape, but its location within the town’s limits was once in question. Henry Whitney, founder of Sydney Steel, had his pick of locations. He could have developed steel in any number of Cape Breton Communities, but he chose Sydney. This talk will examine Whitney's motivations for developing a steel industry in Sydney. It will examine the negotiations and back room dealings that brought steel to town. It will also examine the the role the people of Sydney played in the industrialization of the town. The steel complex that developed here was the result of an intense mix of economic desperation, capitalist savvy and progressive power pursued by capitalists, the community and the town council.