Thursday, November 30, 2023

St. Anne Catholic Church, Waterbury #1: Looking West from East Clay Street

Looking west down East Clay Street in Waterbury, Connecticut after a trip to HolyLandUSA, May, 2014 — The sun rising behind me catches Naugatuck River night fog behind the now demolished steeples of Saint Anne’s in Waterbury.  St. Anne's, begun in 1906, was finally completed in 1922 by the French-Canadian community that settled in the area and worked in the brass mills. HolyLandUSA was the work of a Waterbury attorney. Today St. Anne's serves the local community with services in both English and Spanish.


Thursday, November 2, 2023

EXHIBITION: Whittemore Public Library, Naugatuck, CT — Brass Valley Photographs

 EXHIBITION: Whittemore Public Library, Naugatuck, CT, through October 27, 2023

Photographs of Connecticut's "Brass Valley," taken by Emery Roth before the brass mills closed. Above is a detail from "Made in the USA" showing Willy supervising furnaces of the last operating casting furnace of American Brass in Ansonia.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

NOVEMBER EXHIBITION: Whittemore Library, Naugatuck, CT.

The last of the brass factories in the Naugatuck Valley shut down in 2013, but photographs I took in the mills from 2011 to 2013 preserve the last pours in the American Brass casting shop in Ansonia and the tube mill in Waterbury. A selection of these will be on included in an exhibition at the Whiteemore Library in Naugatuck through the month of November.

Also included in the exhibition are photos taken in the Farrel Machine Tool factories in Ansonia. The Farrel foundry was demolished this past summer. In the photo below Mike is about to remove freshly cast billets from the American Brass casting furnace in Ansonia.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Farrel Machine Shop, August 14, 2023

Immediately after taking the photograph of the Farrel Foundry site on September 4th I walked around to this machine shop, still standing. It had paralleled and connected with the demolished Foundry. It looked no different from this picture taken a month before the Foundry demolition. I guess everything that could have been rattled loose by the demolition had already fallen.

The two rows of windows serve various offices and storage areas that were entered from the foundry. The upper row of windows span from the sand elevator in the north to a stair tower beside the" Tunnel" in the south. It contained a workshop and a long rabbit hole lined with shelves, parts to keep the busy factory running. The lower windows brought little light to a few dingy offices, still furnished and entered from the dark perimeter of the demolished foundry's floor. I imagine once they were busy.

Judging from calendars still hanging in nearby places, the offices had not been in use since 1983.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Farrel Machine Tool Foundry, c. noon, September 4, 2023

I just finished assembling as best I could the stitched pan of the empty Farrel Machine Tool foundry site in Ansonia. This is primarily an effort at documentation, but I’m amazed at the vastness. Is there something about the exposed end of the bridge from the sand elevator, like the end of a severed limb, that is disturbing. Perhaps it has to do with having been up there looking down. 
Those who have been inside know that behind the high wall a monorail crane shuttled between a tall room on the left side of the image and the "severed limb.” The crane was intact when I took this photograph — so was another crane that crossed the rail corridor to the sand elevator and was parked near the end of the limb. Farrel foundry was as much a giant machine as it was industrial architecture.


Monday, September 4, 2023

Machine Monster #4

Machine Monster #4 lived in a tube mill on Bank Street in Waterbury. The photos show the regal beast breathing fire when the mill was active (below) and then later after the mill closed (above). The tube being extruded was bound for use on the U.S. nuclear submarine. Those tubes are now manufactured in Mexico on some of the same machinery.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Meet Oscar

Meet Oscar — He worked all his life in a Waterbury factory until the factory was closed, abandoned, forgotten, and finally demolished this year.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Portrait Photographer

You never know who you will meet along the rail corridor in Torrington.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Rock-a-bye Robins in the Fuschia are Gone

Yesterday we watched the adult robin dropping food into the chicks' waiting gapes, but I could not catch that on camera. At about 11:30 this morning I crept outside in the passageway under the overhang from which fuschia, nest, chicks, cradle and all are hung. My hunch is this photo is mom standing guard and enduring my "shoot." I took eleven images in 45 seconds and left. When I tried to return, she flew away, and whenever we were outside we could hear multiple robins complaining from the trees around our house.

At 1:30 today, as I returned from my hike, I again passed behind the nest on my way to the front door. Only one of the fledglings remained, and it was perched at the edge of the nest. It permitting me to take only two images and is now gone. So too are the many robins that have been "chirping" at the end of the day.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

New Arrivals

I first noticed the nest in the hanging fuchsia basket and the two tiny blue eggs inside it a few days ago, shortly after ignorantly watering all. The fuschia has suffered since, and today the nest had two tiny birds inside. The mother or father watches keenly from trees when I am out and about in the yard. I will let nature take its course, but they will have to get use to our passage or we are their prisoners.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Stairway to Heaven — Strling Opera House, Derby, CT

Some say the Sterling Opera House is haunted. Then again, perhaps all theaters worth the name are haunted.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Greening Bay, June 10, 2023 — Morning Fog


June 10, 2023 — Early morning. a river of fog moving up the coast hangs on the mountains as it crosses the mouth of Somes Sound.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Lobster Docks in Mid-June, Bernard, ME

Cleaned, repaired and neatly stacked, soon to be loaded aboard a lobster boat and carefully set, marked with a buoy for a season of regular emptying and re-baiting until the lobsters' retreat to deeper waters in the fall.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Across Greening Bay toward Flying Mt. & Somes Sound

A short walk along the rocky shore from the house we recently stayed in is a point of land dividing Greening Bay from Southwest Harbor. Seated on a rock above the point I can look left across Greening Bay to the deep cleft where Acadian mountains divide, and water flows into the glacial loch that is Somes Sound. We climbed the mountains along the left edge of the opening and hiked along the ridge above Somes Sound. Looking right from my seat at the point the view is across the mouth Southwest Harbor and between islands to the open sea. It is still June and there is little traffic in or out of the harbor. The docks are loaded with lobster traps soon to be set.


Thursday, June 1, 2023

Fleur-de-lis Swamp

Less than a week ago a few yellow irises began their annual show, poking pointed tips, like candle flames, up through the water. Like most of us, they are invaders in America from Europe, Asia and Africa, but they feel very much at home in the swamps around Little Pond in Litchfield, CT. , and, in any case, once established they are difficult to eradicate. The irises are, in fact, beneficial to the water quality and are used sometimes as water treatment to remove excess nitrogen and phosphorus. 
Today the flowers were in full blossom and the shallower areas of the swamp had become fields of yellow irises.


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Today's Cabbage #3

Even as new skunk cabbage continue to unfurl, the pond is turning to soup & salad.


Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Today's Cabbage 2

 Actually, now this is yesterday's cabbage. 

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Farrel Machine Tool — Face of the Sand Elevator


Farrel Machine Tool's Sand Elevator in Ansonia, CT, has always seemed to me like a giant face. For many years I wondered what was inside but never dared to climb the rusting stairs dangling from its chin. It is one of the most distinctive monuments I know to Connecticut's industrial past.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Moments after the northbound train leaves Ansonia Station it passes beneath the red Farrel bridge through a ring of worksheds. Here, before the Civil War — even before the railroad laid the first track up the valley, Farrel Machine Company were casting iron and steel parts. The powerhouse at the back of the yard powered the operation and remained intact until 2021.


Wednesday, March 15, 2023