Cyclops Steel

Cyclops Steel (also known as Universal-Cyclops and for one of its main subsidiaries as Detroit Steel[1]) was a steel company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was founded in nearby Bridgeville, Pennsylvania in 1908 as Universal Rolling Mill Company, and merged with Cyclops Steel Company founded in 1884 of the Western Pennsylvania city of Titusville in 1936.[1] Cyclops Steel marketed to industries such as aerospace, automotive, business machines, chemical processing, communications equipment, construction, electronics, farm machinery, food processing equipment, home appliances and cutlery, industrial machinery, marine equipment, medical equipment, drilling and mining equipment, military equipment, power generation equipment, rail transportation, sports equipment and tools, ties and fixtures.[1]

Cyclops Steel
  • Universal Rolling Mill Company (1908–1936)
  • Universal-Cyclops
Founded1908; 114 years ago (1908) in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania
DefunctFebruary 1987 (1987-02)
FateAcquired by Alleghany Corporation, Silo and Busy Beaver subsidiaries sold to Dixons Group Ltd.
United States
Key people
William H. Knoell (chairman and CEO)
  • Detroit Steel
  • Silo
  • Busy Beaver

Not to be confused with Cyclops Steel Works in Sheffield, UK in the mid 1800s.

Led by Chairman and CEO William H. Knoell, Cyclops pursued a counter-cyclical strategy which helped it to diversify from steel. As a result, Cyclops purchased the Clairton, Pennsylvania based 16-chain Busy Beaver lumber stores in 1972,[2][1] and the Silo Electronic Stores in 1980 for $35 million ($131 million in today's terms).[3]

Cyclops and Colt's Manufacturing Company entered into a very public battle for a Colt steel mill in Midland, Pennsylvania during 1982.[4]

In August, 1986 Cyclops shareholders rejected selling off its core steel mill business in favor of a management suggested re-focusing only on Silo & Busy Beaver retail stores.[5]

In February 1987, Cyclops Steel was bought out by Alleghany Corporation for $494 million ($1.22 billion in today's terms), as its 119-store Silo electronics outlets and 11-store Busy Beaver retailers are spun off into British based Dixons Group Ltd.[6]

Notable visitsEdit

  • In 1952: Dutch Prime Minister Willem Drees opened the second day of his three-day visit, stopping at the Cyclops Steel mill near Pittsburgh.[7][8]
  • April, 1980: Senator and 1980 presidential candidate Edward Kennedy visits the Bridgeville, Pennsylvania mill on a campaign stop.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d "Cyclops Corp. Makes Two Important Acquisitions- Washington Pa. Observer-Reporter 02/01/1973".
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ "Cyclops shareholders rejected a proposed sale. - Los Angeles Times". 2009-02-12. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  6. ^ "Cyclops Agrees To Be Acquired By British Company". 1987-02-17. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  7. ^ [3][dead link]
  8. ^ "Document 307 – Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952–1954, Western European Security, Volume V, Part 1 – Historical Documents – Office of the Historian". Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  9. ^ "Historic Pittsburgh : Search Results : Senator Edward Kennedy". Retrieved 2014-02-27.

External linksEdit