On May 19, 1933, the Art Rooney owned Pittsburgh Professional Football Club joined the NFL and was known as the Pirates in reference to their baseball club landlords at Forbes Field. In early 1940, Rooney decided it was time to move on from the Pirates nickname as the team struggled to succeed on the turf. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a contest to find a new name for the team and the name Steelers was selected to pay homage to the city’s biggest industry- steel.
The 1943, Pittsburgh’s season was decimated by World War II. As a result, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia combined to form the “Steagles” with no city name designation. In 1944, they merged with the Chicago Cardinals and were known as “Card-Pitt”. Following the war, the Steelers made the playoffs for the first time in 1947.