What’s In a Name?

Today is the day. The beginning of the NFL regular season football, a fresh start for our favorite teams and our fantasy teams. Sundays will be full of friends and family gathered around the big screen yelling for favorite teams.  In the coming weeks we will be sharing facts about one of America’s favorite pastimes- Football!

Have you ever wondered how the football teams got their names? There are certainly reasons behind more ubiquitous names like Bears,Panthers, and Broncos but what about the more unique names like the Steelers?What exactly is a Steeler? Notice the spelling: it’s not ‘steal’ as in theft,but ‘steel’ as in the ferrous alloy. Interesting.

Pittsburgh is known as the Steel City because it was an industrial hub for coal mining and steel production in the 19th and20th centuries. Andrew Carnegie introduced the Bessemer steel making process in 1875 and helped shape Pittsburgh into the Steel City. United States Steep Corp. was formed in 1901 and up through the mid-1950’s Pittsburgh produced nearly half of the national steel output. The area around Pittsburgh became known as the Steel Valley and includes parts of eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

The Steelers were originally founded as the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1933 and are the oldest franchise in the American Football Conference(AFC). Before the 1940 season the name changed to the Steelers. The current logo was first introduced in 1962. It incorporates the Steelmark, a symbol originally designed by U.S. Steel Corp. and now owned by the AmericanIron and Steel Institute. The original meanings behind the astroids  in the symbol were, “Steel lightens your work, brightens your leisure, and widens your world.” Later the colors came to represent the ingredients used inthe steel-making process: yellow for coal, red for iron ore, and blue for scrap steel. In 1963 the team was given permission after a petition to AISI to add“ers” to “Steel” and the logo we know today was born.

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