SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

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]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Shift Change: 1916

Shift Change: 1916

Detroit (Highland Park) circa 1916. "Four o'clock shift, Ford Motor Company." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Albert Kahn

It definitely was built to last. That's why Ford hired Albert Kahn to be the architect. A few years earlier, the Kahn-designed Packard plant opened in Detroit. It was the first industrial site to use reinforced concrete in the US. Kahn designed several auto plants and other industrial buildings in and around Detroit. A signature of his are the cylindrical columns that expand outwardly near the top and are loaded with steel rebar - some 2" in diameter! That's why the Packard plant and the Highland Park Ford Plant are still standing today - for the most part!!

Blue collar labor

I was born in and lived my first 22 years in a small totally industrial town in the Naugatuck Valley in Connecticut from 1939 until 1962 but like Detroit, the shift changes in the many mills and factories would cause an overwhelming surge of both foot traffic and auto congestion at every shift change. We also had very loud whistles, that could be heard throughout the town, that blew at 7 a.m., 12 noon (for lunch), 3 p.m., 5 p.m. (for supper) and 9 p.m. (I
guess that was our signal to go to bed). Eventually, one after the other, all the factories closed except two or three, and currently the town has been gentrified to be occupied by mostly boutique-like antique stores, tea rooms, specialty shops, craft booths, expensive condos, cafes, etc. more slanted toward touristy, quaint New England type storybook meccas, but we old timers know that it is not a true picture of the way things used to be there.

Fordism in Action

Note the permanent nature of the building; steel-framed masonry with plenty of architectural detail. Long-lived (although not energy-efficient!) steel window sash. etc. Ford built this structure to last, reflecting confidence in the long-term future of the company.

So much more room for activities

A wee bit less congested now

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.