Sunday, January 17, 2016

Demolition Crossroad

PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL: [Anaconda American Brass, Ansonia, Dec. 2015]
(earlier posts in this series are below)

Since before 1900 paths have been crossing here, midway along the east-west factory road between Liberty Street, at the top of the Hill, and the riverside yard, at the bottom. That is where the east west factory road crosses the north-south factory road that runs beside Naugatuck rail corridor. Even today people find each other here beside the tracks. Sometimes they stop in conversation - have a smoke - wait for a passing train or pause conversation while it passes. Today conversation is about gas tanks for Mike's torch as the site is picked for scrap and junk.

On three of four corners around this crossroad the three major manufacturing buildings of Anaconda American Brass in Ansonia still converge: the extrusion mill in the southeast where the round mirror hangs; the rod mill, diagonally in the northwest and shown reflected in the round mirror: the flat-wire mill in the northeast and out of the conversation. 

Today's conversations concerned removing part of a large crane being chopped for scrap. There was also a track crew from the railroad who drove in on rubber tires and, after some moments of adjustment, drove off on steel wheels. Nifty!

The powerhouse, shown here suffering through neglect, scrap & salvage, claims the fourth corner. Behind it are Ansonia’s two, remaining, giant, masonry stacks: Closest is the casting house stack of American Brass; Farther off and connected to the Farrel campus is the stack that appears on the 1906 map. It serves a building with a "Dynamo Rm” and three “force pumps.” A note on the map suggests these may have been for fighting fire, and carefully located beside the river.

Traffic from the American Brass casting house often followed the road from the riverside up the hill to the metal labs, in the administration building on Liberty Street where an engineer checked to make sure the alloy sample they carried matched specification. Meanwhile the men waited at the casting furnace below for approval to pour. 

Along another axis, the offices behind the giant extruder at the south end of the extrusion mill and the machine shops by the high windows at the north end of the flat-wire mill sometimes exchanged envoys. I rarely saw people at either place, though there were always nervous cats by the high north windows of the machine shop. But envoys could sometimes be found here.


Jan 28 @ 7 PM - New Britain Industrial Museum (snow date Feb. 4)
Feb 10 - Housatonic Museum of Art
Feb 16 @ 7 PM - Woodbury Public Library (snow date, Mar. 1)
Feb 25 @ 6 PM - Ansonia Public Library
March 1-29 - Photos on exhibit at Silas Bronson Library, Waterbury 
Mar 10 @ 6 PM - Silas Bronson Library (snow date, Mar 14)
Mar 12 @ 6 PM - Railroad Museum of New England, Thomaston
April 7-29 - Photos on exhibit at Hagaman Library, East Haven, CT
Apr 27 @  6:30 PM - Hagaman Memorial Library, East Haven
May 4 @ 7 PM - Windsor Locks Public Library
May 17 @ 6 PM - Wolcott Public Library
November 12 - January, 2017 - Photos on exhibit Minor Public Library, Roxbury
Nov. 12 @    - Minor Public Library, Roxbury, CT


Linda said...

Your photos are fantastic!

Emery Roth II said...

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.