PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL: The story of the largest extrusion press in New England, “the last machine," is still mostly unknown to me. The press was always there when Lazlo Gyorsok and I began photographing in the casting shop on the same Anaconda American Brass property in Ansonia in 2011. The casting house was our primary interest, but in the long periods between pours, we’d explore the other buildings of the property, all silent and decaying. And so, from time to time, we’d shoot in the extrusion mill. There were many wonderful things to photograph there in machinists' bays along an ancient back wall that may have been built in 1845, when Anson Phelps built his own Ansonia Brass & Copper here. That was when he built the canal and industrial village that founded Ansonia.
Unfortunately, the rest of this shed was newer, difficult to shoot, and uninspiring, but I wish I could go back and photograph that hall of idle machine bays when it looked like this.