Pickwick Mill Vignettes (Original Monochrome Photography)

5개월 전

Howdy,

It was Pickwick Mill Day in Pickwick, MN last Saturday and I had heard that the equipment would be hooked upand running. Apparently, that was only for a demonstration, which I didn't get get to see. Oh well, though! Maybe next time.

I got to the mill around 2:00 and found the roadway full of cars parked on the shoulder, what there was of a shoulder. Surprisingly, though, most of the people were out front enjoying demonstrations of blacksmithing, spinning, and grain separation. I headed into the mill, this time armed with a tripod.

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Motion Blur

While the equipment wasn't hooked up, this bear and belt network is always up and running. This is where the waterwheel's axle comes into the building and supplies power to the system.

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Wooden Gears

These huge gears are actually made of wood. The largest one is at least six feet in diameter! I managed to get my camera and tripod through the wooden beams and into position to get this wide-angle shot looking up at them.

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Bike Chain XXXXL

The above photo shows how power is transferred to upper stories of the mill. The chain connected to this gear goes straight down, through a gap in the floor boards, to the drive shaft below. A gear below can be moved into place to connect this axle to the network, when needed.

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Natural Lighting

In the 1800's, natural light was the only light available in these mills. Dust is a major problem and the reason so few of these mills remain today. The dust can catch fire and will actually explode. For that reason, gas lamps and candles couldn't be safely used.

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For Cranky People

In addition to the water-powered equipment, there are quite a few hand-powered devices around the mill. I'm not sure what this one was used for, but it was in a great spot for a photo.

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Used to Squish Stuff

This is obviously some sort of press. As to what was pressed in it, who can say? The mill primarily ground wheat and grains for human consumption and, in its later years, produced animal feed. According to one of the people I spoke with, the mill produced over a hundred pounds of flour each day during the US Civil War. This grain was sent to the Union Army to feed the soldiers.

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Likely Discontinued Parts

There are also some miscellaneous parts and broken pieces, lying unnoticed in the corners where they may have been carelessly tossed and left.

While I didn't get to see the equipment demonstrations, I did manage to take a short video of one of the gears where the waterwheel comes in. I have turned it into a looping GIF file. It's not perfect, but it's close!

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It Mooooves!

Thank you for taking a look! If you enjoy my work, please click the upvote button. Comments are also greatly appreciated.

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So very cool! I love the gears, and I'm always amazed at the engineering involved in things like this. Great idea for a post, and wonderful in black and white. How goes the job search? Any luck yet?

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Thanks! Places like this remind me of being in high school. I ended up in ad avanced physics course that devoted a significant block of time to gear networks like this. It was actually the most fun part of that class, as far as learning goes. The teacher had severe narcolepsy and would fall asleep writing on the board or at his desk, so we did get to goof around a lot... lol

The job hunt is not going well. I thought I had an interview this week, but they decided to ghost me instead. It wouldn't have been a great fit, but the area was nice. It was on the west shore of Lake Michigan. So... I'm still looking.

I think those old mills are fascinating. Your photos are great.
Wish you had good job search news though. Soon. I'm sure it will all fall into place soon.

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Thanks. No luck with the jobs yet, but I'm working on a grant application to go back overseas for another year. We'll see if I get it.

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That would be wonderful!

Very interesting sir fotosdenada! I love that kind of thing. Or place. It seems like those wooden wheels would break. But anyway these are really good shots!

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Thanks. Those wooden gears are solid oak and huge, so they apparently held up really well. They're bigger than wagon wheels.

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That's amazing, I'd like to see how they made those!
Oh, anything on the job search?

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No luck with the job search, yet.

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I'm so sorry to hear about that sir fotosdenada. Is there a plan B in the meantime?

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I'm still hoping to find at least a retail job and going to apply for a grant to teach in Spain again. I don't know if I'll get it or not, but it would be nice to be back there even if it's just for another academic year.

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Oh I love the Spain teaching idea! I hope you get that.

@fotosdenada, Black and White effect gave epic essence to all these pictures and this is reflecting your professionalism too. Stay blessed.

Posted using Partiko Android

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Thanks! The mill certainly lends itself well to black and white photography.

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Welcome and that's true.

Posted using Partiko Android

A pity you didnt get to see it working but you made the most of your visit with these amazing shots

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Thanks! Maybe next year I'll see it running. Because it is a demonstration, though, I'm sure it was absolutely packed with people, so getting tripod photos might have been impossible anyway.

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Thats a very. Good point if its only for a short time and once a year I bet it is so popular and so crowded it would most likely be impossible to get shots

That's a really cool project!! It's always fun to get see parts of history and how everything worked without the technology we have today. Like you said, these places would have been highly flamable with all the dust. I'm pretty sure a lumber mill in B-C had a devastating incident of that sort and most workers got trapped in a quick burst of flames and nobody could do anything about it. I went to see an old coal sorting mill in one of the last wooden tipples left in Canada a few years back, I really enjoyed it, your photos kind of reminded me of this trip. Thanks for posting!

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Many grain mills met with unfortunate ends around here. One of the more explosive ones happened in the state capital of Minneapolis. Apparently, the fine wheat flour dust can actually explode. There's a great article about that disaster here, if you're curious.

There are some old iron mines in the northern part of the state that have tours. I'd love to see some of those. The coal mine sounds fascinating. I bet that was a dangerous place to work, too.

Surprisingly, Pickwick had a dust collecting room. I don't know how well it worked, but the people giving the tour said that, even when they have things up and running, they won't process grain because it's too dusty. Also, it takes a long time to clean everything up. It would make for amazing photos, though!

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It was an unfortunate incident for sure. Certainly a lot of wild theories for the cause at the time, I guess people were still learning since it happened over a hundred years ago. The B-C explosion is the same concept but wood dust, it's much more recent events, you would think they would have known by now. Also dust collecting rooms are not that effective at collecting it all. I'm sure it catches lots but not the fine floaty stuff.

https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/incident-investigation-report-summaries/explosion-and-fire-at-sawmill-in-burns-lake?lang=en

Iron mines would make for a cool visit too, all the history eventually disappears and forgotten as infrastructure becomes unsafe with aging or new regulations. Visit them while you still can! The coal mine was cool to visit but it was booming at a time where there wasn't much for safety or living standards, many died from illness related to both like typhoid fever and such. I made a post about it a few years back, see if I can dig it up...I had to look deep!! haha but found it.

https://steemit.com/travel/@ladybug146/a-haunting-history-last-wooden-tipple-in-canada

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Ooh, that's a cool one. I love the wooden structures, especially. They look so rickety!

Yeah, you would think that after a few mine and mill explosions, that they would have found a viable way to filter dust from the air. Besides making it less likely to destroy your business and kill your workers, it would have made working inside a lot more comfortable. I imagine workers could barely speak after a day's work, breathing that in.

I would love to see the mines up north. Apparently, the tour includes taking the elevator down the shaft to see where miners would have pulled ore from the ground. I'd do it, for sure, but it might be hard to find someone unafraid of heights to go with.

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Too bad I live in Canada!! I'm unafraid of heights and would totally go! Going in the mine is probably a neat experience and probably a bit rare because of cave ins and poor support from the times they were built, plus now regulations require abandoned mines to blow up all entry ways to prevent public access and that makes it a pain in the ass to excavate for tours later, well at least for Canada. You should go check it out while it's still there!

Funny that you called the structure rickety, that's the exact word I used when I first saw it too...lol...I still can't believe a actually went inside that rickety old thing!! Went in the shaft leading to the mine too, there is one long conveyor belt but it was too dark to take pics, we all had the old carbide headlamps they used at the time, they are pretty heavy. I don't regret it tho it was fun.

They don't learn anything unless industry standards forces them to. Caring about workers cost $$ out of shareholder's pockets. Should see the coal power plants I work at. Years of coal dust sitting on all the beams and structures just keeps piling on, was there when I started working over a decade ago! We use it a "juice" to go handrail gliding homer simpson style(the dust makes the gloves less sticky). Every time I walk around there, I'm just waiting for the same to happen there any day and hope I'm not on that shift! Sad state of affairs. Yet safety goes overboard on dumb things.

Hi @fotosdenanda, it's been a long time. I recently got back here and wanted to post some photos. However, I'm struggling with portraits. They tend to flip and go landscape when I tried to upload them. Do you happen to know a trick?

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Hi! What site do you use to post with? And what software do you use for your photos? Sometimes, the auto-flipping in cameras doesn't save the direction correctly.

I use Adobe Lightroom to process, but any editor should show how the computer is reading their orientation and let you rotate, if needed.

Some of the posting sites also have issues. I currently use SteemPeak to post, and it does a nice job. It also has some useful features, like post templates and the option to schedule when your post will be published.

Hope that helps!

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I'm using Steemit and I just upload photos right off the bat. Since I started with steemit, I got used to it. I was just puzzled of why does it happen and thought maybe there was something I should know. Some mardown styling maybe.

I'll try to process them with an editing software and see what works. Thanks!

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Good luck. You may want to take a look at SteemPeak, too. It's the same in a lot of ways, but easier to use.

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