Heavy engineering industries in North America
Automobile, locomotive, shipbuilding, aircraft, Large manufacturing machinery is the important engineering industries. They depend mainly on iron and steel. Other metals required are copper, aluminum, magnesium, nickel, etc. North America is rich in all of these. With abundant cheap power available, these industries have grown at a phenomenal pace.
The United States is the world’s leading producer of motor vehicles, cars, trucks, wagon, etc. half of the world’s motor vehicles are manufactured in North America. The industry is located around the great Lakes, the chief centers being Detroit, Chicago, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and St. Louis. Windsor is an important centre in Canada.
The United States and make modern farm and construction machinery such as tractors, combine harvesters, reapers, bulldozers, etc. in large numbers. Rails and railway wagons are manufactured in Chicago, Philadelphia and several other centers in the United States.
There are big shipbuilding yards in New York and the Delaware and Chesapeake bays on the Atlantic coast of the United States.
All kinds of aircraft, from the smallest single seater to the largest jumbo jets, are built in the United States. The United States is by far the world’s leading maker of aero planes. The principal centers are Los Angles, San Diego, Seattle, Baltimore, buffalo and Atlanta.
The continent’s industries today produce almost everything from the smallest pin to the biggest liners. While agriculture, forestry, mining and fishing are big industries in themselves, they lead to the establishment of other dependent or allied industries. Thus, flour milling and textiles are industries dependent on agriculture. Mining leads to metal industry. Metals are the raw material for a number of industries including the so called heavy industries of shipbuilding, motor-car and locomotive manufacturing, etc. likewise the chemicals and the electrical industries are dependent on the materials.
Although most of the cotton in North America is produced in Southern United states, the Textile industry was localized in North –east of United States till recently. The reasons were historical and climatic –this was the region first settled and it has a humid climate. Cotton yarn does not break if air is humid. Lowell, Fall River, New Bed ford and Manchester are important centers of cotton textile industry in New England states.
Large wood-pulp and paper mills dot the river banks of south –eastern Canada and the northern and northwestern parts of the United States. About half the world’s wood-pulp and newsprint are produced in this continent.
Iron and steel
The iron and steel industry of any country is its most important industry because on it depend most of the other industries.
You know how iron and coal are found close together in the region near the great Lakes. It is so in Rockies and the central plains too. Coal is an essential requirement in smelting, i.e. extracting the metal from its ores. For a ton of the ore, two tons of coals are needed. So it is really convenient when coal occurs near those areas. For this reason, the areas around the lakes have become great centers for the iron and steel industry. These areas have the added advantage of easy transport available on the lakes and of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The United States is one of the leading iron and steel producing countries of the world. The bigger centers of production are the Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Chicago and Gary. Other steel making centers are located in Birmingham and Alabama area, and the Bethlehem and Sparrows point area. Pittsburg in Pennsylvania is the greatest steel producing center. Birmingham is known as the Pittsburg of the south. Hamilton is an important iron and steel centre in Canada.
Besides its huge production, the United States imports large quantities of iron –ore from South American countries.
The other chief industries are chemicals, petrochemicals, and cement, and synthetic rubber, electrical and electronic goods. One of the fastest growing industries, today, is electronics. Akron is an important centre for the production of rubber tires.
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