Hell With The Lid Off
Darkness, fire and black smoke, a never-ending rain of soot, the pounding of hundreds of hammers. A description so dismal it conjures visions of Dante's "Inferno." But those images depict the Pittsburgh of December 1866 that writer James Parton witnessed and conveyed in his story, "Pittsburg," published in the January 1868 edition of The Atlantic Monthly. Parton penned his immortal comparison of Pittsburgh as "hell with the lid taken off" in that article, reporting the view of the region's mills, foundries and factories from a perch atop a hill overlooking the city.