Though Birmingham stands in the heart of the Deep South, it is not an Old South city.
Founded in 1871 at the crossing of two railroad lines, the city blossomed through the early 1900s as it rapidly became the South’s foremost industrial center. Iron and steel production were a natural for Birmingham; underground lay abundant key ingredients—coal, iron ore and limestone. As an industry town, Birmingham suffered greatly in the Depression. After World War II the city grew moderately while retaining its strong Southern character.
At the same time a profound movement toward diversification was afoot. The huffing and puffing of Birmingham’s legendary iron and steel mills was gradually replaced by a work force of medical and engineering professionals. Today, Birmingham enjoys a balance of manufacturing and service-oriented jobs in a thriving work force.