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Labor museum remembers Sheet & Tube photographer

A memorial to the life and work of Percy “Perc” Kelty is on display at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor.

Kelty (1923-2020) of Columbiana was best known for his skill and passion for photography, and he spent a large portion of his career as an industrial photographer at Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co.

After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during World War II and trained as a bomber pilot until his talent for photography landed him a position in Air Intelligence as a photographer.

After honorable discharge, he attended Youngstown State University for photography. Kelty was hired as the industrial photographer for Youngstown Sheet & Tube in 1945, and he succeeded Walter Bartz in 1953 as head photographer, holding that position until the abrupt closure of the plant in 1977.

Decades of Mahoning Valley industrial history and heritage are captured in Kelty’s work, and a large selection of his photographs can be found in the center’s archives / library and can be viewed online at ohiomemory.org within the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Bulletin collection.

The memorial will be on display through September in the Bitonte Family Welcome Lobby of the center, 151 W. Wood St., Youngstown. For more information, call 330-941-1314.

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