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Jakob Ehrensvärd | profile | all galleries >> Industries of the past tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Industries of the past

The structural changes in the industrial world the last forty years has been violent and the shakeout has been massive. When seeing these vast numbers of abandoned industries of a past vintage, one could always blame "globalization" and claim that "it was better in the good ol' days". Apart from being quite meaningless to do so, the reality is of course more complex than that. Productivity in several industries has increased enormously and the changes in the economics of raw materials, labor costs and transportation together with liberalization of trade and capital markets creates inevitable changes.

But, independent of the kind of rational side behind things, I cannot deny a stain of melancholy when walking around in abandoned buildings of the past. The transition occurs gradually in the period between 1955 and 1975 where the western world goes from the old to the new, from labor to automation. Collapsed and abandoned industries from 1975 and onwards can be spectacular ruins but the mythical feeling is simply not there. Prefabricated concrete elements, corrugated sheet steel and welded beams cannot simply compete with wood, bricks and rivets. As simple as that...
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The ancient limestone works
gallery: The ancient limestone works
The abandoned peat moss plant
gallery: The abandoned peat moss plant
Another abandoned peat moss plant
gallery: Another abandoned peat moss plant
Yet another abandoned peat moss plant
gallery: Yet another abandoned peat moss plant
The abandoned distillery
gallery: The abandoned distillery
The abandoned sugar mill
gallery: The abandoned sugar mill
The old sugar mill
gallery: The old sugar mill
The ancient steam generation plant
gallery: The ancient steam generation plant
The Huber Breaker
gallery: The Huber Breaker
The abandoned glassworks
gallery: The abandoned glassworks
The collapsed roof tile factory
gallery: The collapsed roof tile factory
Another abandoned brick works
gallery: Another abandoned brick works
The old flour mill
gallery: The old flour mill
Another abandoned flour mill
gallery: Another abandoned flour mill
The ancient sawmill
gallery: The ancient sawmill
The abandoned hydropower station
gallery: The abandoned hydropower station
The abandoned Lancashire forge
gallery: The abandoned Lancashire forge
The abandoned roller shade factory
gallery: The abandoned roller shade factory
The ancient tile works
gallery: The ancient tile works
The old workshop
gallery: The old workshop
Rural workshops
gallery: Rural workshops
At the wagon maker's
gallery: At the wagon maker's
The abandoned paper mill
gallery: The abandoned paper mill
Yet another abandoned paper mill
gallery: Yet another abandoned paper mill
The ancient blast furnace
gallery: The ancient blast furnace
The abandoned plywood factory
gallery: The abandoned plywood factory
Another abandoned paper mill
gallery: Another abandoned paper mill
The old brick works
gallery: The old brick works
The abandoned log flume
gallery: The abandoned log flume
The bankruptcy
gallery: The bankruptcy
The abandoned power plant
gallery: The abandoned power plant
Abandoned mines
gallery: Abandoned mines
The farmer's sawmill
gallery: The farmer's sawmill
The abandoned leather factory
gallery: The abandoned leather factory
Another abandoned chemical plant
gallery: Another abandoned chemical plant
The abandoned tar factory
gallery: The abandoned tar factory
An abandoned saw- and flour mill
gallery: An abandoned saw- and flour mill