PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL: There is grime, and there is obnoxious grime; the area around the hydraulic pump was second only to the casting house in grime obnoxiousness. Either grime overpowered our washing machine. Neither had met a solvent that was it’s equal. The floor around the pump and motors was a patchwork of greasy and slippery, metal plates that covered, I assume, raceways for hydraulic pipe. To slip was to be forced into grabbing an unsavory surface.
The pump sat in an alcove where oil puddled on puddled water and where I wouldn’t walk. One of the previous posts below will make clear why. My last Subaru was scarred by the mess tracked onto the back seat by my tripod. And yet the pump repeatedly drew me to wade into its murky corner; it is the essence of Art Deco and a model of sublime finesse.
Note the brick arches in the wall behind the pump, ghosts where windows once lit the 1895 stair tower to a building long gone. The tower just behind the wall is now elegant housing for a tank of hydraulic oil.
For earlier photographs of the hydraulic pump: