Spirit of Steel

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This article is about the 1938 mural, for the 1999 book and CD, see Spirit of Steel (book).
"Spirit of Steel", photographed by Frank Tombrello.

Spirit of Steel is a mural painted between 1934 and 1938 by Frank Hartley Anderson in the Fairfield Post Office. The commission was part of a New Deal project to employ artists administrated by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts as part of its government building program. Anderson was paid between $650 and $700 for the commission.

The artist described the design of the mural in a letter to the Section as follows:

"Fairfield itself is entirely devoted to steel and iron, this covering of course the mining of coal and iron and the quarrying of limestone and dolomite, bringing them together and making iron, then steel, and into the finished bars, plates, structural steel, wire and nails. The central motif, in the center, rear, is the converter 'up,' which Fairfield knows to mean 'all's right with the world.' The flaming torch it makes as air is blown in lights up the sky for miles around. . . . At the right and left are the stacks of the steel mill, with cooling towers, and the furnaces making pig iron. Below, at right and left, are the coal mines and the iron ore mines, both entirely underground. In the center, right and left, are the scenes 'changing the furnace' and 'making bottom,' both important parts of the needed processes."