Lens-Artists Challenge #199 – Mechanical/Industrial
“Prune the dilapidated buildings so that a city flourishes.Khang Kijarro Nguyen
This week John’s challenge has given me an opportunity to showcase a place that played a role in some of my long bygone days. Unlike John, I’m not as focused (pun intended) on industrial or mechanical images, but like many photographers I do love places that have seen better days.
“The industrial model is gone. People are more than machines.”Richie Norton
In the town where I grew up there were Michelin baseball fields and Michelin playgrounds, but it never occurred to me until much later that they were named after the old, run-down factory with which they co-existed. The factory, it turns out, had a long and interesting history, having been built in the 1700s and owned by many companies until finally being used by Michelin Tire beginning in 1907.
“The mind is the laboratory where products, both fake and genuine are manufactured.”Israelmore Ayivor
At its heyday the factory covered 21 acres, housed 14 buildings, over 475,000 square feet, and had a workforce of more than 2,000 people. Cited for environmental hazards it was finally razed (for the most part) in 2016. The iconic smokestack and water tower featured in my opening image were retained as an important element of the town’s history.
“Industry is not the mark of progress – compassion, reason and self-reliance are.”Abhijit Naskar,
My response this week features an unhappy ending to what was once a vibrant industrial center. Hazardous waste created a situation which prevented others from investing in the site, such that it simply deteriorated until deconstruction was the only solution. Gone are the Michelin farm that was used to feed employees, the medical and recreation centers, and a bowling alley built for their entertainment. The 53 Michelin homes built to house employees have been continually updated and are an integral part of the town.
“Despite all our amazing ability, ingenuity, technology and industry humans are the one species who have not mastered the art of simplicity.”Rasheed Ogunlaru
There is an aura of wistful charm associated with days gone by, such that we sometimes forget their difficulties. I for one am happy to live with today’s creature comforts but find myself wondering how future generations will regard them and us. Let’s hope we’re remembered as the generation that worked to clean up polluted waters, save the forests and purify the air, rather than the one that destroyed them all.
Sincere thanks to those who responded to Patti’s Light and Shadow challenge with so many beautiful images. Thanks also to John for his intriguing challenge – please remember to link your responses to his original here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag. Amy will be our host next week on her Share and Connect blog – until then, as always please stay safe and be kind.
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