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What Goes Around: 1912

What Goes Around: 1912

The year is 1912 and the place is Detroit. What's going on here? View full size.

UPDATE: Many people correctly identified this as the beginnings of a gas holder, or gasometer -- a storage reservoir for what used to be called "city gas," or coal gas (as opposed to the natural and LP gas that we use now). The original caption: "April 4, 1912. Foundation for gas holder, Detroit City Gas Company."


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I'd rather have a coke

We still have a coal gassification plant here in Schenectady, NY, although it's been converted to storage for many decades now. The leftover coke was sold as a heating fuel, but the smell around the plant was pretty foul. NYMO was able to supply cooking and lighting gas to the thousands of G.E. employees in the surrounding area up until it switched to natural gas.


Wow. I lived on this site nearly 30 years ago (West Grand Blvd and West Fort Street). Of course by then there were no traces of the gas plant being there at all. Sad because I have a serious fanthing for gasometers. Most of the houses across the road there are gone now. Neat to see that horse drawn wagon in front of one. Love this blog!

What's the man doing at the top of the screen?

He is standing at the base of something long, with his wife looking on. It took me a minute, but it's a mast! The boat is off to the left. You can see the front (bow), poking out from behind the building. Also, I am guessing the house next to the construction site is now owned by the construction company. The fence has been taken down for easier access.

Riveting machines

Note the two large U-shaped riveting machines at left. There has to be a powerful air compressor somewhere around. The plates will be riveted and then the seams will more than likely be caulked to prevent leaks.

Hurry up, guys

We've got to get the world's largest merry-go-round finished by Thursday!

Gas City

In Indiana, next to Marion, is the small town of Gas City, so named because natural gas was found there. It was thought to be a bonanza, but that proved wrong, the gas was quickly emptied, the name was never changed.

Mongo Not Know

Mongo only pawn in game of life.

Happy Thanksgiving

To Dave and all of the Shorpy friends - Happy Thanksgiving
(would they be Shorpyians or Shorpyites?)

Ice skating rink??

Happy Thanksgiving all!


As many of you correctly guessed, it's a gas holder. See the caption under the picture for the details.

Just a wild (pitch) guess

Could it be the foundation for Tiger Stadium?

I dunno, unless

it's some kind of early 20th-Century supercollider.

There Goes the Neighborhood

Whatever they're building (tank, smoke-stack, merry-go-round?), it's going to destroy whatever property value remains for the the hovel next door.


It's the beginnings of the space station in "2001."

Gas holder?

My guess - building the bottom of a gas holder for city gas storage.

Atom smasher

Particle accelerator? A very small one. {OK, probably not.}

Maybe the base of a large water tank? It seems to small for an arena or a test track, even at 1912 speeds.

The Detroit Gasometer

This looks like the foundation for a new gasometer, maybe this one.


Building a water treatment plant.

Just a guess, but

I think they're building some sort of gas or oil holding tank.

It's a crop circle machine

It's a crop circle machine so the aliens know where to land

Gas tank?

It looks like one of those big circular gas storage tanks.


Sewage disposal plant?

It's a gas holder

Beginning Foundation for a Building, Water Tower or Gas Tower?

One of those 3 things are all I can guess about what is going on here!

Is it...

Is that one of the old gasworks under construction?

My answer is

They are building a natural gas storage tank.

I know!

Early twentieth century crop circles.


Must be a roundhouse turntable

Building a water or other liquid storage tank?

They're building the roof (as it were) and then the sides get built from underneath.

On the other hand, that's a heck of a tank.

My guess

Building a wastewater treatment facility

Gas Tank?

Building a gas tank?

Air Ship Landing.

Looks like an Air Ship landing facility to me.

My guess

Laying foundation for one of those gigantic gas storage tanks you used to see all over up until the 1960s or so.

Goes Around

This looks like a concrete foundation for some sort of round tower, but what do I know, I am just a machinist.

The construction

of the base of a gas storage tank, probably at Detroit.

From Mongo?

Other than building a landing pad for Flash Gordon's pals, I'd guess it's going to be a big storage tank for something earthly.

Round and round

Might this be some sort of tank for holding something.

Got Gas?

Is it the first step in constructing one of those gas storage tanks that has a diaphragm-like device that raises up and down with the volume of gas in the tank?

What's going on here?

Well, first I thought it might be a kiddie ride, but upon further inspection it seems to be some kind of construction site. But for what?

a. A storage tank
b. A church / synagogue / temple
c. A railroad turntable (though no rail lines can be seen)
d. A platform stage for Lady Gaga or Madonna?


I think they're constructing a gasholder.

Gas Storage Tank?

Are they building a storage tank for natural or manufactured gas?

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