Pittsburgh is located at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers in Pennsylvania. The area was first settled by Europeans when Fort Duquesne was built by the French in 1754. Four years later the fort was captured by English forces led by General John Forbes. It was now renamed as Fort Pitt after the British prime minister, William Pitt. Emigrants from England and Scotland now began arriving and by 1764 the houses built around the fort became known as Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh's natural resources encouraged entrepreneurs to move to Pittsburgh. George Anschutz erected the first blast furnace in the area in 1792. Andrew Carnegie, Henry Frick and Andrew Mellon established their businesses in Pittsburgh. Known as Iron City, Pittsburgh had a population of 321,616 by 1900.
In the 20th century Pittsburgh established itself as the largest iron, steel and aluminum producing city in the world. It also manufactured 20 per cent of the country's glass and by the 1960s had the world's largest cork manufacturing factory.
As foreign competition increased, most of the iron and steel plants began closing down during the 1970s and 1980s. The city now concentrates on high-technology industries such as computer software, industrial automation and biomedical technology. The population of the city in 1990 was 369,879.