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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Detroit Iron: 1903

Detroit Iron: 1903

1903. "Detroit Iron and Steel Co. mill." One of the wonders of the Rust Belt. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Despite the pollution

Despite the pollution that Zug Island produces, it provides one of the few proven spawning habitats for the decimated Lake Sturgeon, which is now at 1% of its population since the time this picture was taken. They can live 55-60 years, and don't reproduce until they're 10+ yrs old. Apparently coal dumped in the river in deep water (50+ ft) off of the island, provides the perfect habitat for spawning.

Zug Island

The plant was located on Zug Island on the Detroit River, an artificial island formed when a canal was built for better access to the Rouge River. The island has been home to steel and chemical plants for over a hundred years, so it's not a pretty place.

The canal acts as a moat around the island, and access is carefully controlled, so photos from on the island are hard to find. Aerial photos of the current steel plant show what might be the original building under layers of later additions.

The locomotive

is referred to as a saddletank locomotive, the wheel arrangement was always followed by a "T"

0-4-0 Shunter

About as small as I've seen in US practice - in Scotland these are (were) called 'pugs'.

SHORPY OLD 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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