I Live in Pittsburgh. Regardless of Its current accomplishments or future direction, Pittsburgh will always be know for its industrial past. Even now, there are signs of this past everywhere — giant machines stand as silent monuments to their proud history. Rows of smoke stacks remind new developments of their sooty past. Everywhere you look there are reminders — many of the buildings are gone, but we all recall what stood in the now open spaces.
At one time, the steel mills were everywhere here; then they were gone. As they folded, there was a wealth of buildings and objects abandoned. These forms are some such objects. At one time there were shops at every mill that produced these forms and prototypes. They were used to create the molds into which steel was pored.
These particular items have been stored in a friend’s house for years. Having been involved in the dismantling of steel mills, he had the forethought to keep some of these items — which at that filled dumpsters. They were so black with soot I could have never guessed the wood could still possess the warm glow that it now displays.
To clean them, I did very little to the pieces seen here — I washed them with Murphy’s Oil Soap and that’s it. They were placed in my mantel to be photographed, but I will find some more permanent home for them soon. It is amazing how closely the wood resembles the patina of the pine floors in my 1860’s row house.
I will keep one or two around on display to remind me of where I from. I am glad these objects survived. It would be a shame to not display such beautiful objects.