The Rust Belt is the area that was one of the biggest destinations for Appalachian coal during the golden age of coal mining (also known as the Industrial Heartland), and defined by the steel industry and other heavy manufacturing. It is centered around the Great Lakes and the Ohio River, which allowed materials to be transported easily around by water, giving the area an advantage over other industrial centers of production. Early railroad lines also were built through the area. Appalachian coal was transported by these means to the steel mills of Pittsburgh and Chicago, automobile factories in Detroit, electrical power plants, and various manufacturing plants such as the International Harvester or Firestone.
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