SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Smokestack Industry: 1906

Smokestack Industry: 1906

Ensley, Alabama, circa 1906. "Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Co. furnaces." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

I know why he's up there.

I photographed the remnants of this plant for my senior BFA show in college. I was talking with another photo student who's grandfather worked here, and would've been climbing this stack. The reason? Testing the heat and smoke coming out of the top of the stack to determine efficacy of the furnaces.

Sulfur Analysis

The man on top of the stack is the sulfur analyzer. The amount of sulfur he smells is directly proportional to the sulfur in the coke. Adjustments are made accordingly.

Spot the lowest seniority employee

You can see him. Use the hi-def image and look at the very top of the highest smokestack. And no, that's not some gizmo up there; the men farther down, where the narrow stack widens out gives us a sense of scale. That IS a man up there.

I don't know what a man would be up there for, but the most "junior associate" gets my vote.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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