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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • BRITISH COLUMBIA VACATION-LAND: 1950s

Fast Fraight: 1906

Fast Fraight: 1906

Ecorse, Michigan, circa 1906. "Great Lakes Engineering Works." Our title comes from the idiosyncratically graffitoed flatcar. Panorama made from two 8x10 inch glass negatives. Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

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Iron men

My grandfather was a riveter there. I'm wondering if the towers in the distance are salt wells for the chemical industry.

Quite possibly a building slip

It looks like the stern of a ship being built on a slipway. Great Lakes Engineering was a large shipbuilding yard from 1902 until they closed in 1960. The Edmund Fitzgerald was built here in 1958.

Dry Dock

BigGuy1960 is correct. The barrels on the dock are full of rivets. You can see them laying next to the barrels, no plates are visible. In 1923, Michigan Steel Mill started production (see Ecorse Michigan by Kathy Covert Warnes.)

No gym membership required

It's no wonder that our ancestors who did these jobs never had to "work out". I don't know what was in all those barrels or how heavy they were, but this type of hard labor had to be like an eight hour workout and then some. I've thought the same thing seeing Shorpy pictures of coal-miners, men loading cotton and or bananas onto ships, foundry workers, etc. Yes, there are still lots of grueling, physically back-breaking jobs around today but most of us are spoiled rotten with cushy desk jobs and use our brains and schmoozing abilities more than we do our muscles and brawn.

Floating Drydock?

I believe the structure in the right foreground is a corner of a floating drydock - note the bollards at deck level and at the top of the structure. I believe the structure perpendicular to the stair landing is a cradle for a ship to rest on. Wonder if it's under construction or used by the shipyard?

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