On December 16th, 2011, the last Ford Ranger standard truck left the assembly line and paint shop and not long afterward the doors were chained and locked. Then it was my turn.
From failed starch works to a wartime asset, this brick ruin has seemingly always been an unwanted castle of a forgotten island.
From 1910 to 1986, Gary Bolt & Screw manufactured an incredible amount of fasteners and steadily employed about 1,000 people. Then, something went wrong–today its walls are not filled with rusty equipment or even dust. Instead, hundreds of piles of rotting donated clothes fill in the space under the old gantry cranes…
It died when a nuke went off–and it looks like it. Nobody perished with it, though, and there is no radioactivity… just smokestacks and dead-end roads. This withered war plant has seen better days, but who doesn’t find the post-apocalyptic aesthetic a little intriguing?
Minneapolis was Mill City; flour mills and linseed mills dotted the landscape, and not just along the Mississippi River. To support the world’s biggest flour and linseed companies, a huge network of grain elevators were built by various interests just outside of the east bank’s industrial districts. I investigate these elevators and the factories immediately around them one by one. Welcome to Mill Hell.
At a time when tariff laws, domestic manufacturing, and government regulation highlight every newspaper across the country, Longmont Sugar Factory marks a lesson to be learned.
How can a government create an entire industry with a tax? How does a factory turn a beet into table sugar? Can we learn about our cultural history by a ruined factory left far behind? Let’s practice some industrial archeology and stand in the place of ‘high-smellers’ past, reimagining these four brick walls in a national historical context.
This building seemed a bit too eager to murder me, but it was too late to turn back. Built with inadequate materials, due to WWI material shortages, and built in a hurry, due to its sister plant burning to the ground, every day this building still stands flouts time, nature, and gravity.
For 133 years, Hamm’s brewed good, cheap beer. “From the land of sky blue waters,” their jingle went, never finishing the sentence: “Comes the corporate takeover.” This post packs a childhood memory, the story of Hamm’s from its founding to recent demolitions. So sit down, crack a cold one, and…
The Harris Machinery property dates to 1870 when the Peteler Portable Railway factory built their factor here. Between then and now the tenants have changed a couple of times, but there’s still a little piece of Minneapolis that looks and smells just the same.
Huron-Portland Cement Company came to Duluth in 1917, and it operated there until 2008.