Welcome to the Machine #13666

Matted, canvas, & super high gloss prints available. Questions?


The Story

In the colorful industrial decay at Carrie Furnace, valve wheels and large pipes dominate the scene. Weathering and flaking rust have taken over, it’s been decades since Carrie closed.  In these ruins, deep blue metal laced with colorful stilettos and slashes of graffiti complete the view.

Carrie Furnace is nothing but a gigantic industrial labyrinth filled with huge metal pieces, much of it many stories high. As I walked through feeling very miniaturized, every nook and cranny offered a chance to shoot something unusual and not often seen.

Threading my way along the tight row of immense hot stoves, I made this symmetrical picture. That symmetrical evenness is broken only by the details: busted floor brick, hanging chains, and the slithering graffiti popping up everywhere.

In a blast furnace, hot stoves are where air was heated to a very high temperature to be blown into the furnace full of molten iron. It’s the blast in blast furnace. From what I’ve read, the heated air was taken to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically, there were several hot stoves lined in a row to serve each furnace.

Their diameter was large, say around 30 feet, and the height approached 100 feet for each one. Lined with fire brick, each hot stove was circled by a large diameter pipe seen here at the top of the picture. This massive piping had something to do with moving all that hot air in large quantities to the right place at the right moment.

That extremely hot air was key to make a better grade of iron at Carrie Furnace…which in turn, was moved while still molten via specialized railroad to the steel mills not far away upriver.

Carrie Furnace is a great example of outmoded WW2-era steel making. Today, the ruins are also a great example of post-industrial decay as well. To get a better feel of this strange place, another view that was taken while walking among the towering hot stoves is Yellow Brick Road #13727.

Location: Carrie Furnace, Rankin, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks

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