Mellon Banks

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Oxford University Press


The Mellon banks were a group of financial institutions instrumental in the industrial development of the greater Pittsburgh area in Pennsylvania, as well as, to a lesser degree, of other regions of the United States. Mellon funding played important roles in the development of coal, fabricated (but not primary) steel, aluminum (in particular Pittsburgh Reduction, which became Alcoa), and oil (in particular Gulf). Other notable companies benefiting from Mellon funding and oversight were Carborundum, a maker of grinding materials, and Koppers, a maker of advanced coking ovens that captured rather than simply vented valuable by-product gases such as toluene and benzene. Mellon banks at various times also provided financial resources for real estate development, lumber, mining, traction, railroad-car construction, and electricity-generating enterprises, both in the Pittsburgh area and elsewhere.

Chapter of

Oxford Encyclopedia of American Business, Labor, and Economic History


Melvyn Dubofsky


This material was originally published in Oxford Encyclopedia of American Business, Labor, and Economic History edited by Melvyn Dubofsky, and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. For permission to reuse this material, please visit http://www.oup.co.uk/academic/rights/permissions.

Included in

Economics Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.