Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Fire Works

PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL: It’s not at all clear that there can or should be any further use for this old building. The wrecker’s torch is already at work, picking it for junk and metal scrap to prepare it for final burial, but those who care about the history of Ansonia and of Connecticut might take note. This is the inside of the casting house of American Brass in Ansonia as it looked yesterday.

People who know the history tell me the art of mixing copper alloys was refined and perfected here beginning before the Civil War. Those who worked here knew the secrets for mixing alloys to enhance machinability, conductivity, or corrosion resistance, for pouring alloys with extra spring or for resisting torque or for releasing the antibacterial qualities the copper. This is where that knowledge was crystallized as metal for manufacturing. At its peak, 40 furnaces ran here. When the casting house closed in 2013 a single furnace was still mixing metal for critical marine applications such as the U.S. fleet of nuclear subs. 

[Anaconda American Brass, Ansonia, CT, casting house]