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rustyjaw

Post your photos, part II (56k warning)

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Wow, that's an incredible loom.

 

It really is, I would SO love to have seen this room back in the day with all 5 of these things running. My god, the sound alone must have been overwhelming. The contrast of this massive, hulking, greasy intricate beast of a machine outputting this thin, delicate lace is jolting.

 

As always, Ed, great stuff! The B&W really does work on these, which is odd because it's usually the color in your shots that first grabs my eyes.

 

Thank you! It was a fun exercise to work out the B&W treatments. I think some could be better, but I'm happy with most of them.

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I poke my head into this thread from time to time, and looking at the last few photos, I kept thinking, "wow, those would make great loading screens for a horror game".

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Guest AnitaNella

Come on , lets see them. If it comes with v-brakes or 990s. Post your whips.

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I have a friend who is into historical preservation and documentation photography. He's currently working on a book documenting the glory days of American industry, namely coal, iron, railroads, mines and other large infrastructure works. He found out about a one-of-a-kind place in the California Gold rush area (about two hours from Oakland where he lives). It's an iron foundry opened in 1873. We took a trip there two weeks ago.
 
I learned some things that might seem obvious, but I'd not really considered. For example, to make almost anything in iron you have to first make it in wood, and then use the wood form to make a mold into which you pour molten iron. And once you had forged iron, you needed to be able to machine it. So more than half of the place was a woodshop and a machine shop. The astounding thing is that both of these shops where entirely water powered. A diverted stream gravity fed into a pipe system that culminated in a nozzle that sprayed water into what is essentially a small (42" diameter) metal waterwheel called a "Knight Wheel"  — the place is called the Knight Foundry. A modified version of the Knight Wheel, called the Pelton Wheel is still in use today for hydroelectric power. Once the Knight Wheel was spinning, it powered an elaborate pulley system that could run about 10 different machines in the place (but not all at once!), mostly lathes and drills. Initially, Knight Foundry made equipment for mining to feed the local mining boom, including railroad rails.
 
So this place has historical significance, but what also make it significant is that it's entirely intact. All of the hand tools, the wood forms (they kept all of them because they were re-used frequently), all of the machines, the cranes (all hand powered), the furnace...it's all there like the workers walked out one day. The water no longer flows into the building, but they have replaced the knight wheel with a small generator (about the size of Thanksgiving turkey), and when the turn the generator on, the place comes back to life! All of the pulleys still work and machines start to whirr and spin throughout the space.
 
Anyway, we spent two days there photographing (he with a Hasseblad and a 4x5 film camera, me with my 'lowly' Canon :-). We were granted permission to photograph and in exchange we are offering our photos for use in the preservation effort. The town is trying to raise $300K to keep the place intact and turn it into a museum and educational center. So far they have raised $200k!

 

Here are some shots I took:
 
Knight25.jpg
This lathe was made on the premises in 1882

Knight30.jpg
A hand-powered crane holding the iron ladle at the mouth of the furnace

Knight31.jpg
One of many lathes, note the belts headed for the ceiling where it got power

Knight17.jpg
A look at part of the pulley system that runs the machines, originally all from water power

Knight4.jpg
A closer look at the machine in the above pic

Knight33.jpg
This is only one selection of drill bits, and these are some of the smallest ones

Knight28.jpg
One of the drills that used bits from the image above

Knight27.jpg
Tools of this type were everywhere in the place, some had initials engraved on them.

Knight26.jpg
I went around opening drawers to photograph the contents, here is one

Knight1.jpg
Vast shelves of parts

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continued...

Knight22.jpg
A different view of the same lathe in the first pic

Knight16.jpg
This may look like iron, but it's actually a wood form, the would cast segments of the full cog to assemble a full one in iron.

Knight18.jpg
These are all wood forms in the woodworking section of the shop

Knight29.jpg
Also in the woodshop, old license plates commemorating the 1939 world's fair.

Knight8.jpg
More wood forms stored in a nearby building

Knight14.jpg
These are finished iron

Knight2.jpg
More iron, these are letter forms

Knight11.jpg
One end of a HUGE lathe, again note the pulleys going up behind it

Knight24.jpg
Another treasure found in a drawer. This was a huge filing cabinet of parts. Still organized by the names on the drawer labels. (and look at those drawer pulls!!)

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Your pics pop without looking like edge-enhanced candy. I won't even ask about the skill, tricks and know-how anymore and just enjoy.

 

Completely agree! The DOF on that last picture with the open drawer is particularly stunning.

 

Looks like an awesome place, and I'm happy to hear that they are well on their way to preserving it. 

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Thanks to you both. It helped to spend two days there, because it's a challenging place to shoot. It's so busy visually. And there are skylights that are basically clear, letting undiffused sunlight in creating lots of hot spots all over. We got up at 5 on the second day to get there before the sun got in. That's partly why some of the pics are more blue and others gold, the blue ones were generally morning before the sun arrived.

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