The factory is the icon of the industrial age. For decades, our culture was proud of the dark, loud caverns that helped to shift millions of workers out of poverty and into the middle class. It was factories that helped America become a determining factor in World War I, and it was even more factories that enabled the US to dominate in two wartime theaters during World War II. Both wars were won in the factory.
During the first half of the 20th Century, the factory was viewed as a positive force. You can see this in the Detroit murals by Diego Rivera where he romanticizes the worker and shows the factory as noble and powerful.
In the post-war era, bilging pollution and mindless soul-killing work produced a negative view of the factory. As we entered the 21st Century and production shifted to Asia, the American factory slipped into decline, morphing into an image of decay and dystopian horror.
The artwork in this slideshow reveals our cultural take on the factory.
I predict a new image of factories will emerge in the coming decades with a positive image of antiseptic precision and magnificent robotics that again elevates our standard of living.
Click on the image below to start the slideshow.
In the 1950s, cutaways became a popular way to depict buildings with complex interiors. This drawing shows the progressive stages of ice cream production, from tanks of liquid ingredients to packaging and shipping. (Source: sciteckinfo.com)
Nope- Didn't get out that way too often.In all my 18 years living in Wayne County, I think I made it to the Detroit Zoo once, when I was about 7.But I drove 8 mile its full length many times, from Southfield to St Clair Shores.Horrible road.Made my tires do what you're suggesting.Pot hole after pot hole.
Yes, I remember the Big Tire well. A couple friends and I contemplated puting a stick of dynamite under it to see if we could get it to roll over I-94.
Can't believe it's still there.
Do you remember the car sticking out of the window of a wheel alignment shop on Woodward (near the zoo)? The front tires were constantly in a wobbly spin. Underneath the car, a sign read: Do Your Tires Do This?
Those were great days for Detroit, Jim. My dad worked in marketing for Vickers, a hydraulics supplier. My grandfather was a Ford exec (after having started at GM), and my first real job was in the lab at Celanese Coatings, a paint suplier (primarily to Chrysler).
Bog Seger said it all in his song "Making Thunderbirds": "We were young and proud -- we were making Thunderbirds."
Rob- I really enjoyed that, thanks. Maybe because I too grew up in Detroit in the 60's when the automotive industry was in a heyday of muscle cars and worthy admiration.Everyone's dad worked for either Chrysler, Ford, GM or American Motors – then the "Big-Four".One of my earliest jobs as a graduate engineer was at Hydramatic plant in Ypsilanti. GM took over that Willow-Run plant --- Henry Ford's grand-daddy of all factories! You know that history-?
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
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