As a kid I worked for a time in a steel mill in South Chicago, I was
the third generation to do so. These pictures took me back to that
place and that time. It was full of gigantic machinery run by men who
apprenticed for a long time before they got a hand on a machine. The
old guys had pride in their work, and worked hard. The newer
generation, (mine) didn’t have the same appreciation for
craftsmanship, just a quick paycheck.
I remember walking into a large building that powered an adjacent
rolling mill. Inside was a hut, about the size of a very large garden
shed. I walked up to it, and next to the door that led inside what I
thought was a shed was a brass I.D. plate. That shiny plate told what
it was - it was a General Electric 10,000 h.p. electric motor. I
could hardly believe it. If memory serves me I think it was a 660
volt motor and produced that h.p. at only a couple of hundred r.p.m.
What a place.
Now the mill that once employed 22,000 men and women is vacant land
along the lake shore. It’s gone - all gone, and so is an era. Quite
honestly although I’m a thousand miles away it’s still hard to
believe that once bustling, smoke belching, place is no more. As a
kid I thought it would always be there.
Rocks to Gems