When I think of America, I think of Bethlehem Steel.
This mill built America. Today it's a hulking massive ruin stretching for hundreds of acres. A casino is now being built on part of the Bethlehem Steel property. Other buildings are being converted to condos and businesses. Too bad they not producing any longer the material that made built the USA: Steel!
I have some business clients in Bethlehem, PA, and I finally brought my camera. Left early for my meeting so I'd have some time to shoot some pics.
Fuji Velvia 50, Minolta 430si camera, Vivitar Series 1 lens.
Last Edit: Dec 30, 2007 9:47:18 GMT -5 by minoltaman
Nice pictures, Tommy - and tinged with sadness. Also sadly, they reflect derelict factories, textile mills and shipyards in the north and north-east UK - at least, those that haven't yet been knocked down.
Once, long ago now, Britain was called 'The Workshop of the World'. Now it's full of service industries, financial institutions, museum theme parks of 'industrial archeology' and preserved ancient buildings. I sometimes wonder how long a country's engineering skills can lie dormant until they die.
Sic Transit Gloria etc.
On the, possibly, brighter side there are rumours of a ray of hope for the old railway works in Ashford, where I live, empty apart from a few light industrial firms, for many years. Plans to raze the lot to the ground are being put on hold while a Japanese company considers taking them over to build new super-high-speed intercontinental trains to run through the Channel Tunnel.
If they do, they'll have to modify or rebuild the old workshops, install modern machinery and train a new workforce from scratch. But, it was done when the works were built in the nineteenth century. With the necessary capital it could be done again.
Nice photos of a sad situation. I wondered when you posted them if something like globalisation was on your mind. I first noticed it with NAFTA coming into play and our manufacturing jobs diasppearing 20 years ago. We were told not to worry, service industry jobs would fill the vaccum. Sad fact is that you would have create 3 to 5 service industry jobs for every well paying job lost in the manufacturing sector and that never happened. Our town, which is centered on the pulp and paper industry is just devestated, with only one of four mills left operating and that one is a shell of it's former self. Lets all hope 2008 will be better.
Those are excellent pictures that are striking reminders of just how far the US has slipped in manufacturing capability. I've seriously wondered what happens if we're suddenly cut off from Asia, the source of so much of our manufactured goods. We no longer have the means to provide shoes, clothing or durable goods if push comes to shove. It's not a good situation and looks to only become worse.
Nikonbob, thank you!! You are totally right in your post, well said. Yes, Globalisation is constantly on my mind because of my business in specialty metals and fabrication. The Chinese are taking over but I don't put all the blame on them. It starts in this country and government first and foremost. NAFTA has been an absolute disaster for the US and even Mexico.
And the loss of manufacturing is not just the loss of laborers. It's the loss of skilled mechanics and machinists and engineer positions. These services jobs just don't give the same level of satisfaction.
Anyway, let's pray for better days!! I think it's going to turn around for the better one way or another.
I trained years ago shooting as a fire leader with a nine inch Bethlehem Steel cannons. Germans captured them from Chile.(modified; I don't remember that my memory would have betrayed me before ;D but Germans has nothing to do with those 9,2 inch BT cannons but the czar of Russia instead. Originally they were sold to the Chile but the contract of trade were canceled in 1910 and Russians bought 14 cannons and six of them was assembled to that coastal bastion in topic.) Cannons were able to lay in a negative direction because the were originally planned for a use high on the coastal mountains. (I hope ,that you understand what I mean ) We had plenty of ammunition for them and they had no value for the original purposes. OK practicing old manners and for a fun, of course. Work and manufacturing is moving to China because it is cheaper there. Also the growing markets are in that part of the world. You get more profit if you make subcontracts with Chinese producers or if you move the whole production to the Far- East or India.