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The Scrap Room: 1915

The Scrap Room: 1915

Wyandotte, Michigan, circa 1915. "Detroit Shipbuilding Co., scrap room." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

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New Bricks

It's interesting when you look at this. You can see where at one time the dividing wall was supported by an arch and had a doorway through it. At some point in the past, possibly to allow rail cars into the building, they demolished part of it and bricked up the old arch for support. They also added a strap of metal around the wall for further support, closing off the door on the right.

You Would?

To those of you longing to work in a metal shop I say: GO AHEAD! And by all means, have fun breathing in all the smoke and mill dirt all day, as well as scraping it out of your nose every night. Your life expectancy will drop about ten years or so as well, so don't make any definite plans for your retirement.

I worked out of one of these places for a couple of years (I was the shop truck driver, but I spent a lot of time in the fabricating mill loading the truck and working there if there were no loads to deliver). Trust me, places like this still exist and they are indeed depressing workplaces.

I'll take the scrap room

Here in Philadelphia, there are still a lot of buildings remaining that look exactly like this. I would gladly work in any one of them.

Wonderful documentation -- but why?

You have to be grateful that someone thought to preserve a view of an everyday, unglamorous interior like this. But I'm not totally sure of the purpose of the photograph.

I believe the Detroit Publishing Co. took photos for use as postcard views and such. Wonder what the reason was for exposing an 8x10 plate on a view like this?

(But still glad the photographer did!)

[The Detroit Publishing archive includes over 150 plates made at Wyandotte of ships and the shipbuilding process. - Dave]

Ectoplasmic Pipes

Lots of ghosts in this picture -- even the "pipes" on the sawhorses are transparent.

Carpal Tunnel

I'll take carpel carpal tunnel any day over getting a sleeve sucked into those massive grinding wheels! Those things must weigh 200 pounds each! Imagine the dust when you grind down a few castings for eight hours a day. Glasses and respirators were 40 years away. I can taste the iron in my mouth!

There be Ghosts here.

Ghostly workers and a some ghostly pipe, the bent piece with the flange looks like it was either removed from the Sawhorse and dropped on the ground, or vice versa, while the shutter was open.

Another Haunting Picture

Even the pipes are see-through.

Stand still please gentlemen

I think the the gent in the foreground with his "thousand yard stare" says it all.

Okay, who moved that pipe?

Tracks

I'm guessing a boxcar would stop and load or unload in the scrap room, judging by those rails.

Somebody call OSHA!

Lots of workplace dangers in this scene. That open drive belt looks like it could remove a finger or worse pretty easily.

"Depressing Workplace"

How about an 8 by 8 cubicle in front of a computer screen for 8 hours,with no window? Dollar for dollar I'll take the scrap room and the sunlight. The dirt washes off.

Questionable Engineering

There seems to be some dubious joist work in the ceiling. Rafters with no hangers held up by what must be nails only!

Deluxe lunch pail

I was wondering how on earth could you pack your lunch in such a way that it wouldn't be completely contaminated by the dirt and dust and particulates in this environment. Would you just not even bother trying after a while?

That is one depressing workplace

And I've got a strange feeling that they weren't big on safety, either.

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