Due to large local deposits of coal and iron ore, the area of Ostrowiec became a center of the Polish metal industry. In the mid 19th century, Klimkiewicz Steelworks was opened in Ostrowiec, which later became known as Zaklady Ostrowieckie.
In the interwar period, the steelworks was was expanded. The plant produced railway carriages, parts for steam locomotives, cars, tanks, cannons and steel structures.
During the Holocaust, it was one of the main labor camps for those that survived the liquidation of the Ghetto in Oct 1942.