History comes in many forms. But that of the Midwest industry is history in a possible forgotten form. With the ever growing movement towards greener technology, overseas production and the overall lack of need for mass manned production industry is dying and the age of the smokestack is crumbing without notice.
My goal is to document all that is left standing from the Industrial boom caused by WWII and prior. This is including the age of the steam engine and the continental train system. My current intentions are documenting what is left standing in Ohio, Northern Kentucky, The Panhandle of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In the past I have focused my time on Michigan as a whole. This being my home state and focal point for the creation of this project. Last summer I spent a week focused in central Pennsylvania documenting industry as well as some locations in West Virginia. Final goal is to visit and cover every city with significant standing factory's or foundry's in production or vacant across the Midwest rust belt in hopes of preserving the industrial heritage that seems to be overlooked. There are 9 states considered to be apart of the rust belt.
The most important parts of history are the ones that slip through the cracks. And if no one is there to capture the final days the generations to come will never know about them. Industry is why their family came to be in that certain part of the country. It is why it was their grandparents were able to prosper. It's also why their town dried up and died when the smokestacks fell and the jobs went away when the factory closed it's doors. A picture doesn't just say a thousand words. It reaches a thousand people for a thousand years. Every part of history is worth telling and sooner than later this part of history will be gone and it is something we need to remember. And it's something I wont let slip away into the night.