mills and factories

Tapping the blast furnace #6 at Novolipetsk steel plant. The furnace had been put into operation in 1978. It produces 3.1 million tons of hot iron a year.

A speech by Eugene Debs

The obligatory Debs speech:

Statement to the Court

Upon Being Convicted of Violating the Sedition Act

September 18, 1918

Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

I listened to all that was said in this court in support and justification of this prosecution, but my mind remains unchanged. I look upon the Espionage Law as a despotic enactment in flagrant conflict with democratic principles and with the spirit of free institutions…

Your Honor, I have stated in this court that I am opposed to the social system in which we live; that I believe in a fundamental change—but if possible by peaceable and orderly means… Standing here this morning, I recall my boyhood. At fourteen I went to work in a railroad shop; at sixteen I was firing a freight engine on a railroad. I remember all the hardships and privations of that earlier day, and from that time until now my heart has been with the working class. I could have been in Congress long ago. I have preferred to go to prison…

I am thinking this morning of the men in the mills and the factories; of the men in the mines and on the railroads. I am thinking of the women who for a paltry wage are compelled to work out their barren lives; of the little children who in this system are robbed of their childhood and in their tender years are seized in the remorseless grasp of Mammon and forced into the industrial dungeons, there to feed the monster machines while they themselves are being starved and stunted, body and soul. I see them dwarfed and diseased and their little lives broken and blasted because in this high noon of Christian civilization money is still so much more important than the flesh and blood of childhood. In very truth gold is god today and rules with pitiless sway in the affairs of men.

In this country—the most favored beneath the bending skies—we have vast areas of the richest and most fertile soil, material resources in inexhaustible abundance, the most marvelous productive machinery on earth, and millions of eager workers ready to apply their labor to that machinery to produce in abundance for every man, woman, and child—and if there are still vast numbers of our people who are the victims of poverty and whose lives are an unceasing struggle all the way from youth to old age, until at last death comes to their rescue and lulls these hapless victims to dreamless sleep, it is not the fault of the Almighty: it cannot be charged to nature, but it is due entirely to the outgrown social system in which we live that ought to be abolished not only in the interest of the toiling masses but in the higher interest of all humanity…

I believe, Your Honor, in common with all Socialists, that this nation ought to own and control its own industries. I believe, as all Socialists do, that all things that are jointly needed and used ought to be jointly owned—that industry, the basis of our social life, instead of being the private property of a few and operated for their enrichment, ought to be the common property of all, democratically administered in the interest of all…

I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.

This order of things cannot always endure. I have registered my protest against it. I recognize the feebleness of my effort, but, fortunately, I am not alone. There are multiplied thousands of others who, like myself, have come to realize that before we may truly enjoy the blessings of civilized life, we must reorganize society upon a mutual and cooperative basis; and to this end we have organized a great economic and political movement that spreads over the face of all the earth.

There are today upwards of sixty millions of Socialists, loyal, devoted adherents to this cause, regardless of nationality, race, creed, color, or sex. They are all making common cause. They are spreading with tireless energy the propaganda of the new social order. They are waiting, watching, and working hopefully through all the hours of the day and the night. They are still in a minority. But they have learned how to be patient and to bide their time. The feel—they know, indeed—that the time is coming, in spite of all opposition, all persecution, when this emancipating gospel will spread among all the peoples, and when this minority will become the triumphant majority and, sweeping into power, inaugurate the greates social and economic change in history.

In that day we shall have the universal commonwealth—the harmonious cooperation of every nation with every other nation on earth…

Your Honor, I ask no mercy and I plead for no immunity. I realize that finally the right must prevail. I never so clearly comprehended as now the great struggle between the powers of greed and exploitation on the one hand and upon the other the rising hosts of industrial freedom and social justice. I can see the dawn of the better day for humanity. The people are awakening. In due time they will and must come to their own.

When the mariner, sailing over tropic seas, looks for relief from his weary watch, he turns his eyes toward the southern cross, burning luridly above the tempest-vexed ocean. As the midnight approaches, the southern cross begins to bend, the whirling worlds change their places, and with starry finger-points the Almighty marks the passage of time upon the dial of the universe, and though no bell may beat the glad tidings, the lookout knows that the midnight is passing and that relief and rest are close at hand. Let the people everywhere take heart of hope, for the cross is bending, the midnight is passing, and joy cometh with the morning.

flickr

DeadEnd by Bryan Buckley

The Modern Factory

The Modern Factory

Edward D. Mills

Architectural Press, 1959

This book solves many problems of factory layout, planning, design and construction. It contains chapters dealing with siting and layout; the factory estate; the design and structural technical considerations; storage and warehouse accommodation; and administration buildings. There are numerous line-diagrams, tables and woking check-lists and what a cover! Grab yourself a copy if you’re invested in modernist industrial architecture. 

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Christopher Payne has spent much of the past few years photographing more than 20 of the mills that make up what’s left of America’s textile industry. Three appeared to have closed midproduction, looking like soft, bright Pompeiis, the colorful yarns still piled on the factories’ floors after the doors were permanently closed; others continue to function, often with machinery and techniques valued precisely because they are decades or even centuries old. For more click here

Molino de arroz edificio y bodegas, Industrial Ejidal Planta, (hoy Arroz Tollocan SA de CV) calle de la 31 #123, Colonia Ferrocarrilera, Escárcega, Campeche, México 1963

Arqs. Karl Godoy Fernández con Arqs. Alfredo Mota Treviso, José Zarur Braiz y Eduardo Barrera Ortega

Rice Mill and warehouse building, Ejidal Industrial Plant, (now Arroz Tollocan SA de CV), calle 31 #123, Col. Ferrocarrilera, Escarcega, Campeche, Mexico 1963

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Overviews of EVRAZ NTMK plant in Nizhniy Tagil - one of the biggest russian steel mills. Together with UVZ (machine building plant which produces railroad carriages and tanks) and some smaller factories, this huge combine covers almost half of the town’s territory.
Currently only two blast furnaces are running at the site and two more are under demolition. Also there are two coking plants, BOF shop, numerous rolling mills, continous casters and mechanical shops.
Pictures taken in October 2014 from the roof of brand new coal injector.

your union needs to have dues

there’s a debate on here right now that goes like this:

“we should strike on election day!”
“but it won’t do anything.”
“but historically strikes had power!”

yes. yes they did. but there’s a slight difference between then and now.

think about it. mill and factory workers in the industrial revolution worked longer hours for less pay and no benefits, and they needed those jobs to survive. why would they strike, when they had so much to lose?

they had a fucking strike fund.

why are people so afraid of striking? because if you’re in poverty, even taking a day off of work is a day without getting paid, and when you have a family to provide for, the thought of being without even those wages is terrifying. how do you alleviate that fear? you let them know that there’s a union-driven safety net. everyone contributes to the fund with their dues, and everyone draws from it according to their basic needs. sure, the funds won’t last forever, but if you plan well and keep it maintained, that gives you more bargaining power. it’s not the employers waiting to starve you out, it’s a game of chicken: your dwindling funds vs. their dwindling profits, who decides it’s not worth it first?

calling for a nationwide strike doesn’t do that because there is no safety net. you’re effectively only asking the people who can afford to take time off to strike, and ignoring everyone else. and if you really want your protests to have power, you can’t afford to ignore all those people.

Contemporary industrial landscape of Duisburg as it seen from Alsumer Berg - huge rubble dump in the northern part of the city. At the night-time this area looks like huge space port with high rockets aimed to the sky and numerous spills of light scattered all around.