There was a time when current mechanical technology was horsepower (with real horses), then with the Industrial Revolution, animal power was replaced by machine power and the real revolution began. Consider the changes in the industrial world in just your lifetime. There are signs of the old ways and the new way of doing things wherever you look. What’s going on in your part of the country that reflects life today, or life as it was in days gone by? For example, in the image above, a large fixed steam engine roars to life every Labor Day Weekend at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher’s Reunion in Rollag, Minnesota, a reminder to us all about the time that steam was king.
Fans of Stephen King will know the story behind the famed Stanley Hotel in Estes Colorado. After staying in the hotel during the off-season, King was inspired to write The Shining. You can stay in that hotel today. Now over 110 years old, the fashionable resort was built by Freelan O. Stanley.
The hotel elevator was originally designed with a control panel for the elevator operator to use. The human operator has long since given way to a modern elevator button system, but craftsmen left the original control next to the place where the elevator operator once stood.
Freelan Stanley and his brother Francis were well-known industrialists whose claim to fame was the production of steam-powered automobiles through the Stanley Motor Carriage Company. In the lobby of the hotel, you can check out an example from the Stanley Motor Carriage Company. We visited the hotel during the Christmas season in 2017.
Constructed in the Neo-Classical style, the power plant on Pratt Street in Baltimore was completed in 1909. Construction started in 1900 and was one of only 11 buildings to survive a major fire in 1904 that destroyed much of the pier area. When we visited in 2019, the former power plant that was designed to power the city’s trolley car system had long since been converted to an entertainment center. At the time of our visit, the building contained a Barnes and Noble book store, a Hard Rock Cafe, a gym, loft offices, and other entertainment offerings. The book store has since closed, a victim of slow sales during the pandemic. Over the years, the repurposed power plant has won several awards for the innovative conversion of a functionally obsolete building to a modern urban entertainment center.
North Dakota is an agricultural state and venues around the state feature farm equipment shows. In the fall of the year, Fargo farm implement dealers show off their products at a trade show called “Big Iron.” They show off their latest in both mobile and fixed farm equipment. I was attracted to capture this grain dryer as its shiny surface reflected the blue skies on a beautiful September day. It was then I noticed the animated conversation taking place at the base of the dryer.
One last entry that features steam power is a beautifully restored steam locomotive. It is much newer than the other steam-operated items featured in this post. Constructed in 1944 for the Milwaukee Road Railway System, engine 261 was used to haul freight and passenger cars until 1956. The engine was restored in 1993 and has since been operated by the Friends of the 261 Inc, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I conclude my review of mechanical and industrial images with a recreation of a typical American blacksmith of the early 20th century captured at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher’s Reunion. Blacksmithing, however, is much older than many people realize. The principles trace back to 1500 BC with the launching of the Iron Age. By medieval times, blacksmiths were a fixture in every town and city, and the principles of working iron to make tools were well known. Feel free to stop by my Flickr site here to view the album of images in the original HD format.
For this challenge, consider subjects reflecting industry or items that are mechanical in nature. Consider images of local agricultural or industrial buildings or a macro shot of the gears in a watch. Maybe it’s images of a nearby historical park where volunteers “recreate” life in an earlier time. How about the engine of a passing train, or a shot of a semi carrying a load of vehicles. What do you think of when you consider the terms Industrial or Mechanical?
Last week’s responses to Patti’s Light and Shadow Challenge were wonderful with many fine examples in both color and black-and-white. Next week, it’s Amy’s turn to host our challenge, so be sure to visit her site. New challenge posts are released on Saturday each week at noon EST. If you’d like to join in our weekly themes but aren’t sure how to proceed, look here.
Wow, this was a way for me to deep dive into California history. One of my favorite small towns has a memorial to the laborers who built the railroad. Thanks for the imaginative prompt.
I saw your post. It is truly a fitting memorial.
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Well, here’s mine, John: https://suejudd.com/2022/05/16/lens-artists-photo-challenge-199-mechanical-industrial/
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Interesting subject here John!
These are great photos for the challenge.
I remember the elevators with that type of handle.
I told my mom I want to be an elevator operstor when I saw the way it worked.
It looked like fun. No, my mom wasn’t thrilled when I said that. 😀
Thanks, Isadora. In that time period, I suspect the job was maybe a step above working at a fast food place today.
I think you might be right on that job description. As a 6 year old, it seemed like a special job. ~~~ : – )
[…] mLens artists photo challenge #199 is ‘mechanical/industrial’. I have a soft spot for planes coming over against the backdrop of the sky. […]
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[…] JOURNEYS WITH JOHNBO – (amazing story in the comment section of WQW #17 […]
[…] is my entry for John of Journey of Johnbo’s blog Lens-Artists Photo A Week Challenge with the topic of Mechanical/Industrial. […]
Oh what a fantastic idea and post for this week. So many cool photos.
Here is my entry for the weei.
Thanks, Cee! I am really enjoying the images people are featuring in their responses.
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Great photos, John. I really like the elevator control. Here’s my entry:
I am always a fan of trains and their infrastructure. Thanks for participating!
lovely post. your selection of photos (and examples) is splendid.
[…] goes to John at photobyjohnbo (link) for suggesting we should notice signs of the old ways and the new way of doing […]
John, an interesting challenge for our topic this week, I enjoyed it.Here is my post: https://mycolorfulexpressions.com/lens-artist-photo-challenge-199-mechanical-indusrial/
[…] to Johno for this week’s lens artist theme – […]
[…] Thank you John at “Journeys with Johnbo“ for this week’s Lens-Artist Challenge: Mechanical/Industrial […]
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This was a fun challenge John. Thanks for hosting!
You are welcome. I have really enjoyed seeing everyone’s interpretation.
[…] The theme for this one is “Mechanical/Industrial“. […]
I like that with these photos you’re showing a strong interest in the subjects which leads to them being easy to look at.
Rather late for this one, but here’s mine:
Thanks! I appreciate the nice compliment!
[…] Lens Artist Photo Challenge Johnbo:…Mechanical-industrial […]
John, this is just fabulous – (hi)storytelling and photography. So well done. Yesterday I got my PC back again, and here’s my little contribution to your interesting challenge!
Thanks, A-C! Glad to hear you got your PC up and going.
[…] – Mechanical/Industrial this week. In the header, – oil platforms in […]
[…] This post was prompted by John’s theme for the Lens-Artists Photo-Challenge #199 Mechanical/Industrial. […]