July 11, 2010

Bolton Emerson Americas: Punching In

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Grab your time card and punch in. Your shift at Bolton Emerson Americas, Inc. starts now. And, at the risk of violating countless labor laws, doesn’t end until I say it does.

Bolton Emerson Americas, Inc. is a machine shop that has been manufacturing and maintaining machinery for the paper industry since 1935. They make big machines that grind wood into pulp. The parts for those big machines are made by bigger (and smaller) machines.

Sorry, am I being too technical? Am I losing you?

All you need to know is – its cool.

The company has been operating successfully for 75 years. Same process, same machines (mostly). So far, I’ve spent about 6 hours shooting the facility and I’m very anxious to share the images with you. Walking through the facility and talking to the employees – like Bobby, who has been with the company for 49 years – I’ve come to realize that it is a special place. It is a snapshot in time. It is living history. It is an absolute pleasure to photograph.

So, if you log on to my site each day wondering if you are going to see another image from the mills, or perhaps a landscape, or the occasional travel photo, I’ll eliminate the mystery. For the foreseeable future, when you log in, you will find a new image from Bolton Emerson Americas.

Hope you have a good shift.

Oh … and don’t forget your safety goggles. OSHA regulations, you know.

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  1. Bob, this is awesome…did they ask you to do this, or did you request to shoot the inside of this facility?

    You usually seem to work with abandoned projects, so why this one that is still functioning?

  2. Thanks Mike … Good questions ..

    In a nutshell, this opportunity kind of found me. My mill contact, Tom Short, maintains the fire sprinkler system at the facility. When he first said, “old machine shop,” I asked, you mean abandoned?

    He said, “No still working, but it nothing has changed in over 50 years.”

    That intrigued me. Tom introduced me to the owner, Sandra Krug. I asked for a couple of hours of access and she gave me as much time as I need / want. I need a lot. I want more.

  3. What a fabulous series of images you’ve captured here! I am amazingly jealous of your access to such a fascinating complex. Last time I got into anywhere half as interesting, it was a Scottish steel mill about 25 years ago. We don’t have a lot of heavy industry down here in Austin.

  4. Pingback: Bolton Emerson Americas: Punching Out » Lussier Photography