Men, metal, and machines
January 7, 2007 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Flowing and glowing.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:16 AM on January 7, 2007

Awesome, thanks!
posted by The Deej at 8:18 AM on January 7, 2007

Thank you Wolfdog. I love industrial photography. Another tour of blast furnaces , a rust rapsody from around the world in a very similar site by Harald Finster. The night photography is particularly impressive.
posted by carmina at 8:39 AM on January 7, 2007

Nice find!
posted by Roger Dodger at 8:40 AM on January 7, 2007

I like good tool porn.
posted by Iron Rat at 9:08 AM on January 7, 2007

what a job to have...
posted by jonson at 9:12 AM on January 7, 2007

posted by exlotuseater at 9:15 AM on January 7, 2007

This is cool hot.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:28 AM on January 7, 2007

These are amazing. The photos are so crisp they look like renders. Actually, one of the most striking things is the contrast between the hyper-real crispness of the machines and the blurry glow of the molten metal.
posted by gwint at 9:43 AM on January 7, 2007

These are great pictures.
posted by Mitheral at 9:43 AM on January 7, 2007

I actually got out to one of the first blast furnaces this past summer. The Old Furnace. Industrial history is fascinating.
posted by srboisvert at 9:58 AM on January 7, 2007

Hellish and beautiful... great post.
posted by knave at 10:19 AM on January 7, 2007

This is one of my favorite posts ever. Thank you so much. I happen to be listening to Kraftwerk as I clicked! Ausgezeichnet!
posted by phrontist at 10:33 AM on January 7, 2007

just found my new fetish.
posted by Busithoth at 10:37 AM on January 7, 2007

bad ass.
posted by delmoi at 10:54 AM on January 7, 2007

Yes!!!! Great post. Here in Seattle we have a Nucor steel plant, one end of which is open to allow the extruded steel to roll out into the yard. Beyond the perimeter fence is vantage point from which you can see this happen. At night a great symphony of industrial noises comes from the plant, all of which I think are great. At some point I'd like to record these sounds and put them on the 'net. Steel is good.
posted by Tube at 10:55 AM on January 7, 2007

Oh, check out these galleries of industrial graphic arts, discovered via the steel site's link section.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:05 AM on January 7, 2007

Nobody with a morbid fascination for steel, riveting , hot furnaces can live without at least knowing that Isambarad Kingdom Brunel lived.
posted by elpapacito at 11:11 AM on January 7, 2007

This is a refreshing view where usually the photographer shoots fountains of sparks and slag pour everywhere. The exposure usually suffers and there's little background. Thanks for showing not all steel furnaces are about the money shot.
posted by hal9k at 11:30 AM on January 7, 2007

Nice to know I'm not the only one who finds stuff like this strangely erotic. Hubba hubba. But the molten steel photos are just wonderful; they're framed and shot so beautifully.

As an aside, anyone with an industrial photo fetish should check the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, a husband and wife team who've been taking gorgeous, deadpan, black-and-white pictures of all kinds of industrial structures since the late '50s. They were almost certainly an influence on Uwe Niggemeier, the Stahlseite guy. There's no comprehensive Becher site but MIT Press has put out lots of books of their photos - blast furnaces, gas tanks, water towers, factory facades - that any good university library should have a sampling of. It's really powerful stuff.

Thanks for this one, Wolfdog; it's really great.
posted by mediareport at 11:36 AM on January 7, 2007

Industrial Poetry: Dorothy (Number 6 Blast Furnace, United States Steel, Duquesne Works).

On preview, wow! mediareport. The Becher's have been a favorite of mine too for quite some time!
posted by carmina at 12:02 PM on January 7, 2007

Nice, I love industrial photos. Great post and supplemental links, thanks, Wolfdog & Co.!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:15 PM on January 7, 2007

Great photos - some reminded me of movie sets. Thanks.

make nice desktops too.
posted by vronsky at 1:30 PM on January 7, 2007

Once upon a time in America, these were visions of hell, where you could see the noise: Times have changed, though: World Crude Steel Production (2005).
posted by cenoxo at 1:40 PM on January 7, 2007

Awesome photos, and great links in the thread as well!
This one is great, Wolf Dog.

And I love this one, carmina.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 1:41 PM on January 7, 2007

I just love this kind of photos. The amount of energy that goes into raw metal working is just fascinating.
posted by racingjs at 1:59 PM on January 7, 2007

I've always wondered why the metal equipment touching the glowing metal doesn't melt, too. I mean when they're smelting tungsten, that's like 8000 degrees... seems the whole factory would melt.
posted by rolypolyman at 2:12 PM on January 7, 2007

Always liked the dark poetry of industrial photography. Thanks for your post Wolfdog.

Here's a clip from the Deer Hunter of working up close with molten steel. Trailer for Almost Gone : A Pilgrimage To Bethlehem.

My grandad wrote about men, metal, machines and working in a steel mill in his book, FOB Detroit, and my favorite short story of his, The Hand.
posted by nickyskye at 3:53 PM on January 7, 2007

When I was not quite 3, my family moved to a steeltown shown in these pictures (Lorain, Ohio, but it's misspelled). My earliest memory is being hauled out of the house late at night, my mother afraid that the town was on fire. The orange, sometimes pink glow cast by the very long mill lit up the entire horizon some nights; you could often see blue flame from the tall stacks. Despite its pollution, the plant's flames and their glow at night could be beautiful. The laundry hanging on the line tended to collect orange soot and occasionally there was a dreadful smell of rotten eggs, the sulphur, pouring from the plant.

And the fact that the town's entire economy was linked to the mil's fortunes made the Vietnam War very popular there. Still, those big old mills are a site to behold. Thanks very much for the links, all of them.
posted by etaoin at 4:31 PM on January 7, 2007

Bethlehem Steel and Big Steel — photographs of abandoned Pennsylvania steel mills and furnaces by Shaun O'Boyle, in glorious black & white.
posted by cenoxo at 5:12 PM on January 7, 2007

Heh, I was taking pictures at this steel mill in Cleveland a week or two ago, although now it's Mittal and not ISG. Got a similar shot, actually, albeit one in color. As a kid [and heck, today too] I loved seeing the flaming smokestacks in the evening... I hope someday to actually get to go inside one of these places.
posted by ubersturm at 5:30 PM on January 7, 2007

Wow, tough to believe they're all gay.

Nifty post
posted by Smedleyman at 1:02 PM on January 8, 2007

The machines themselves and their functions are artistic too -- all the ideas and ingenuity that created them, yikes. Bet it sucked to operate them day-in day-out though, what a job...
posted by RollingGreens at 3:06 PM on January 8, 2007

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