Pittsburgh's access to large reserves of raw materials, especially coal, was instrumental to the emergence of the "Steel City" as a leading industrial center in the late 19th cent. Industries include transportation equipment; metal, wood, plastic, paper, and glass products; printing and publishing; oil refining; textiles; chemicals; and computers. After the mid-1970s, as the number of those employed in the steel industry declined, the city's economic base underwent a dramatic shift from manufacturing to service industries and commercial enterprises. Once a major center for corporate headquarters, many departed in the 1990s, a period, however, that saw the growth of high-technology companies.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.