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Our Visit to the Beaver County Industrial Museum in Darlington

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My Brother and I visited for over 5 hours with Don Inman last week at the Beaver County Industrial Museum in Darlington.My Brother (Edward Reed Laughlin III) and I knew very little about the history of our family. Our Grandmother had pulled together a family history document that provided a very high-level history of the Laughlins, but was lacking in many, many details.Our last family member that had any involvement in the firm was our grandfather (Edward Reed Laughlin) who worked at J&L Steel (and we didn't even know this!) in the 1940's. Don even found the house that he lived in at that time! Unfortunately, our grandfather never shared his history with us before he passed.Reed and I had copies of Don Inman's book "Portraits in Steel" and that provided us with a fantastic history of the family and Jones & Laughlin Steel.There is nothing like a first-hand education though, and Don went above & beyond in compiling a comprehensive suite of historical documents & stories that he shared with us last week.When my Brother first started to research how to learn more on the company & our history, he was thrilled to find out that the Beaver County Industrial Museum existed, and to our pleasure, Don Inman was so willing to meet with us. I never expected the level of detail & research that Don compiled for our visit. I was overwhelmed by the documentation that he gave us. His commitment to ensuring that the history of J&L Steel, and the industry as a whole, remains a vibrant part of the region is admirable. His breadth & depth of knowledge was amazing and his passion for storytelling was infectious!The museum itself provides a wonderful assortment of documents, memorabilia & creative displays that, for anyone wanting to learn more about the steel industry, could spend hours or even days exploring. You have an absolute treasure trove in that little museum, and one that many, many more people should come visit. Even more important is the passion & knowledge of Don Inman!It's interesting that such a huge part of the regional Pittsburgh history is almost forgotten. The Beaver County Industrial Museum is the ONLY place that anyone wanting to learn more about the history of steel can visit today. It should be shouted (and advertised!) all over the place. It surely is one of the best hidden gems of your County!Cheers.Scott