STATE OF BUSINESS: How Goes Steel?

For the world's biggest steelmaker, the blast furnaces never blazed higher. In the first three months of 1956, U.S. Steel Board Chairman Roger M. Blough reported sales of $1.1 billion, a record for any quarter, while earnings of $104 million, up $32 million, touched off a first-quarter peak. But with the expanding good times came an issue for hot debate in the industry: should steel prices be boosted in 1956? As far as Big Steel's Chairman Blough, whose company is the industry's traditional price-setter, was concerned, the answer was no. Though heavy wage demands by the...

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