Thursday, July 28, 2011

Silk Mill 3

Yesterday I, was lucky to be transported to the Silk Mill by Chuck Robinson. I say that because it is a bit of a day, driving six hours round trip and shooting for four of five Thanks again Chuck for driving!!! I have driven it the last two times myself, and I really appreciated the rest.
It is interesting to go back again and again...seeing how others photographers have moved things around and propped scenes or shots. I placed these shoes on the window sill in the basement last time I was there and never shot them then so I decided I should at least make the image this time around. I don't know what it is but the shoes there are interesting, maybe because they speak to the period in time all layered with dust. I didn't really have a specific goal this time and was much more random with my work. These same shoes have been photographed before by many folks and in fact they were resting exactly where they were the last time I was there, but I wanted them closer to the floor so I placed them on a little mechanics cart near the diffused window light.

This one speaks for itself, the light in the elevator shaft is the brightest in the whole building, but diffused by the still in tact glass overhead. The barrels where there last time I was there but the broom was not. I liked the large bell for the elevator, the texture of the wire, floorboards and bricks. I added the broom which Herb the owner uses to keep the peeling paint that falls to the floor in check.

In the mill, where the machines are close to outside windows that have broken, leaves have begun to accumulate. The winds of time are blowing, falling leaves, falling industry in a falling building. It appeared to me to be a haunting predictor of the future and a window to the past at the same time.
I made an image in the past in the women's restroom of the sink and the light coming through the slats in the still hanging stall door, but I did not at the time make an image of the fold up spring bed which I had seen in there, so this time I wanted to capture this shot. It reminded me of a time when I worked in retail and we had a small "wellness" or "restroom" for employees that need to lay down for medical reasons. I had a migraine headache so bad at work one day I needed the comfort of that room. This room was typical of factories in the late 1800's and early 1900's where women did much of this type of factory work. I believe these rooms were the origin of the word "Restroom." In fact I found an interesting site on Restrooms that said:
Restroom. Originally meaning a public toilet, this seems to be of American origin, with the earliest usages found around 1900. It’s an extremely common usage, and also one of the vaguest. Rest of course has a number of meanings, but this is probably in the sense of "repose" or "refreshing oneself." A slight variation is retiring room, a lovely upper-class Briticism from the 1930s.

I envisioned many a woman whom, over time who might have had a need for a short rest from the busy factory work in this very room on this fold up bed, still in place. 
In the basement, the "man cave" of the mill where cogs and belts and oil and all things that kept the gears of the machines working can be found, I enjoyed looking at the book I found on power transmission equipment and thought about the man or men who might have made reference to it for repairs or parts. The phone number on the book for the Boston Power transmission Equipment company was.....Court 4860. Now that was a while ago! as the day was winding down I put on my Lensbaby composer and made this shot of some spools.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Fog Never Lifted

Last Wednesday I posted a blog on the morning fog...and after that I went shopping. When I was shopping I noticed that the fog never lifted from the shore. My niece and grand niece arrived at the beach around 3:00 in the afternoon and the fog still had not lifted. The air was still and the temps were rising. We walked to the beach to see the shore with the fog and the sun shining at the same time. I had never witnessed this weather phenom, and when I asked the lifeguard he said he had never seen it last all day either in his four years on the beach patrol. I had to take some shots it was just so surreal. People were banned from getting in the water because the fog was so thick the lifeguards could not see past the shore so it was dangerous if someone got out too far. These are a few shots I grabbed when we walked up to the beach that afternoon.
Just a few updates on workshops:

My zoo shoot with Penn Camera was cancelled on Saturday July 23, due to the extreme heat and rescheduled for Saturday the 30th so there is room for a few more participants. Check out the sidebar of this blog for the link.

My New York Day Shoot on October 27, is half full so if you were thinking of signing up don't delay, this is always a great day in the city. Sign up soon the link is also on the sidebar of this blog.

I had a great time with my niece and grandniece at the beach! Now I have to get ready for my trip to Seattle to visit with my daughter and her family. Shoot the Palouse with John Barclay and Dan Sniffin and visit my friend Chris in Montana. It is going to be a busy month!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Morning Fog...again...

Last night we had thunderstorms pass through just before sunset. Sometimes those clouds hang around on the horizon in the morning, so when I went to bed last night I said to myself: If I wake up at 5:15 then I will go out and shoot the guess what at exactly 5:15 I woke out I went. The humidity was 100% everything was soaking wet and the fog was thick. But that did not stop me, as you never know what the morning will bring at the ocean. I started shooting as soon as I hit the beach and stopped at 6:45. A lone fisherman showed up and the sun finally broke through the fog well above the horizon. The waves were beautiful. The fog obscured the horizon. These are just a few from this morning. I'll be conducting a workshop at the beach in the fall and teaching participants how to capture and process images like this. Here is a link for more info and to sign up for the workshop.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Sunrise

I decided that there might be a good sunrise today based on last nights weather report, so I headed out at 5:00. We have had storms in the evening which have just prevented any kind of sunsets and in the morning the heavy cloud cover has prevented any kind of sunrise, so I was hoping last nights storm would have moved out by sunrise. When I opened the door the humidity must have been 95%. The air was thick but it looked like the sky had some thin clouds in it so I decided to go out and see the sunrise. Well the cloud bank was sitting on the horizon and the humidity was so thick that the sea and sky merged in the early light. The light was soft and the sun never broke through on the horizon, instead it peaked through the clouds above the horizon.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Klots Throwing Mill 1st Floor Images

This is a subsequent post to the one I made this morning only these images were all made on the 1st floor. I started working the the floor near what I am calling boilers, although I am not sure exactly what they are or what purpose they served. There was a ton of material to shoot in this ten square foot space. I only wish I had a six foot ladder.I found an old metal cart which even today was very sturdy to stand on. The cart gave me a little height to see over the machinery and almost even to the clock that was on the will.
Leaves have penetrated the broken windows and lay among the aging spools.

Klots Throwing Mill Lonaconing, Md.

Yesterday I had a last minute opportunity to make a run up to Lonaconing, Md. to the old silk mill. Last time I was there, I mainly shot on the second floor as it was a dark dreary day and the light was best. I was sick that day and only shot for three hours. Yesterday I started shooting on the second floor and later headed to the dank, dark basement. I went down with out my gear to observe the area, then after determining it was in better shape than my last trip and Herb the owner, had turned a few lights on I went back and got my gear and made some images. All the images on this blog are from the basement area of the building. (I will be posting more of the other floors as I get them processed and of course I will have a few iPhone shots on the other blog as well.) The basement served as the receiving, and shipping area of the plant when it functioned. There are wooden hampers used for moving the spools and materials from floor to floor still in tact.  The large scale used for weighing in and out materials stands as it did in 1957 when the mill was closed. I enjoy researching the history of places like this and when I was researching this morning I found the death notice of the original owner of the mill, published in the New York Times in 1914 (actual notice inserted below). There are two spellings of the owners name I found when I was researching, but this is the correct one. I snapped a photo of a map that was hanging on a wall with my iPhone dated July 23, 1933 and the spelling was Klots. When I was in the basement I noticed some packaging materials had the name of General Silk Corporation. Seems the name was changed before it went out of business as the article below from the Hagley Museum indicates.

According to the Hagley Museum in Delaware here is the rest of the story as reproduced from their site info.

The Klots Throwing Company was incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1894. The business had been founded by Henry Durell Klots and George Klots, silk throwsters, in New York City in the 1880s. The expansion of the company was largely the work of Marcus Frieder.
Frieder was born in Szinna, Hungary, on February 7, 1860, and demonstrated successful organizational and managerial skills before the age of twenty. In 1890 he emigrated to America and became a bookkeeper for the Klots brothers in New York. The New York mill burned in 1894, and at Frieder's suggestion the business was moved to Carbondale, Pennsylvania. This was part of a general movement of the silk industry into the anthracite and bituminous coal-mining fields, where the wives and daughters of the coal miners formed a large pool of untapped labor. Frieder became manager of the Carbondale mill and later secretary-general manager of the company. On the death of Henry D. Klots in 1914, he succeeded to the presidency. Under Frieder's management, the Klots Throwing Company became one of the larger silk manufacturers in America. It built additional mills at Archbald, Scranton, and Forest City in the Pennsylvania anthracite region, at Cumberland and Lonaconing in the Maryland bituminous coal fields, and in Virginia and West Virginia. Frieder helped to organize the Villa-Stearns Company, through which he began to import raw silk from China and Japan. He secured full control of Villa-Stearns in 1916 and changed its name to the General Silk Importing Company, Inc. From 1915 to 1921, the firm was the largest American importer and seller of raw silk. Frieder expanded into New England in 1917, when he organized the National Spun Silk Company and built the largest spun silk mill in the United States at New Bedford, Massachusetts. He also acquired the General Fabrics Corporation, with a silk weaving mill in Central Falls, Rhode Island, in 1921 and established the General Silk Dyeing Company in New Bedford in 1926. In January 1927 the General Silk Corporation was formed as a holding and sales company for all of Frieder's operations. At its peak, Klots operated fourteen mills, had 6,000 employees, and annual sales of $50 million. Frieder's business was greatly affected by the rise of rayon as a substitute for silk and, with the collapse of business in the Depression, the firm was forced into bankruptcy in 1932. Marcus Frieder and his son, Leonard Peter Frieder, reorganized the mills at Carbondale, Lonaconing, and Cumberland under the title of General Textile Mills, Inc. As the textile industry migrated southward, the firm absorbed the Hendrick Manufactung Company of Carbondale, a maker of perforated screens and filters founded by Eli E. Hendrick in 1876. General Textile Mills, Inc., was renamed Gentex Corporation in July 1958 to reflect is new product lines. Marcus Frieder died in New York on October 13, 1940. Leonard P. Frieder operated the business until his death in 1972.