The importance of the steel industry during WW2 was massive. Although at the outset of the war, the United States were terribly ill prepared. Many believe that the recent Great Depression had well prepared the U.S. population for the upcoming war. During the Great Depression Americans had learned how to survive on very little. When the United States finally made the move to join the war effort in Europe, individuals had to put these skills into action. Steel supply in Houston was felt the push to produce along with the rest of the country. Texas Iron and Metal which was founded pre- WW2 in 1939, the new company did their part to assist the country with steel and iron needs.
One of the most significant difficulties faced by the steel industry during this time period in history was their obvious lack of a work force. Many men had been drafted or had signed up for military service during this time, leaving several industries, including the necessary steel industry depleted of workers. The solution to this problem was apparent but also controversial. Women were recruited to take the place of their absent men. Up until this point in American History women had held a very limited position in the public workforce, but that was all about to change.
The iconic “Rosie the Riveter" originated during the time period as an effort to inspire hesitant women who still doubted whether or not they belonged in the workforce. Steel production in Houston was also affected by the influx of female laborers as Texas women took to the factories with a strong belief in doing their part during the war effort.
Another huge impact that steel supply in Houston witnessed during this time was the outpouring of civilian support during WW2. Knowing that the steel supply in Houston and around the country would not be able to keep up with the increasing war demands, citizens were called upon to participate in scrap iron drives around the US. These efforts made a huge impact on the steel and steel tubing in Houston and other major cities. Sacrificing steel, iron and other metals during this time period was only one of the ways the U.S. population stepped up to the plate during WW2. Rationing on gasoline, food and other goods were also implemented to make sure the boys overseas had everything they needed. Although some complained, on a whole the people of the United States were happy to make the sacrifices feeling that it was the least they could do to help with the war effort in Europe.