Steel Industry Related Railroading Photography Books
This book list features books about the steel manufacturing industry and the steel mill towns that surround them. The sky explodes from the blazing glare of furnaces in a fiery red glow off the magnificent shore of Lake Michigan. Hard work is ground in with the unrelenting grind of the steel mill. The flames diligently rise and fall as the ovens erupt with ashes that blacken the grimed faces of the men in deep dark smoke. The strength of these ponderous behemoths is the mighty symbol of industrial power through great sweeps of the 20th century. read more
How to Use
This Steel Industry Photography book list is subject to change as more books are added. All the titles on this list I have personally viewed or I own. Below each title is a list of information about the book. This information comes from my copies, as other versions may exist. Photographs: This describes if the book contains a variety of color and/or black and white images. Main Image Style: This describes the images in the book being more traditional in nature or dramatic or artistic. Content: This will let the reader know what they should expect regarding how much text is in the book. Text means there are pages of writing and captions indicate that text is limited. Recommended: A 1/10 scale of my personal rating of the book. This is based off the overall quality and value the book has to me. Many factors come into play including photos, print quality, size, layout, content, page count, and how well it covers it’s subject.
Recommended | 10/10
A landmark retrospective of the career of one of the most acclaimed documentary photographers in America. Plowden has trained his attention on the remains of America’s industrial past, capturing the vanishing rural and industrial landscape and its relics. This collection of his work accompanied a series of retrospective exhibitions, and represents the photographer at his best. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 9/10
The Model Railroader s Guide to Steel Mills makes modeling this archetypical American industry possible for the average modeler. Author and expert Bernard Kempinski explains the industrial process and the massive complex built around steel production. The reader will better understand how to create a realistic mill area and set up its rail operations. Chapters are included for steelmaking, steel mill railroads, steel mill track planning, and modeling tips. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 7/10
The core themes of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s extensive work from the early 1960s on were the coal mines and steel mills in the German ruhr region and other iron smelting regions of the world, from Lothringen to Pittsburgh.
By way of a contribution to the European Capital of Culture “Ruhr.2010” program, the Josef Albers Museum Quadrat in Bottrop has compiled a comprehensive exhibition with photographs by Bernd and Hilla Becher on this key subject. The exhibition centers on the “industrial landscapes,” as the two artists called them. The Bechers did not seek to depict these areas as individual architectural objects, but rather to contextualize them as complete facilities and heavy industry complexes in their urban and rural environment. Now that iron smelting as an industry has almost completely disappeared from the Ruhr region and the European coal mining industry is following hard on its heels, this collection of impressive pictures, which includes photographs from the German Siegerland region, Great Britain, France, and the USA, provides an overview, which we can already deem to be nostalgic, of a past era of industrial history. Our publication accompanies the exhibition with a total of 154 duotone plates of mines and iron works from all over the world.
Heinz Liesbrock, art historian and Director of the josef Albers Museum, wrote the introductory essay to this publication. As well as famous Becher icons, the volume also features many previously unpublished photographs. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 8.5/10
The Calumet Region: An American Place presents a series of black and white images by an insightful observer of Northwest Indiana’s industrial/residential landscape. A professional architectural photographer, established fine artist, educator, and historian, Gary Cialdella found himself drawn to the region of his youth for a photographic exploration that has lasted more than twenty years and that has resulted in hundreds of rich and complex works. Nearly one hundred of those images appear in this book, reflecting the artist’s sensitive, sustained vision and the changes the region has experienced through economic shifts and the general effects of time.
Cialdella’s Calumet pictures thoroughly examine this heavily industrialized area extending from south of Chicago to the northwest corner of Indiana, an area of the United States that is often overlooked but is vitally important to the country’s history. Steel mills, tank farms, and refineries coexist with neighborhood houses in the artist’s beautifully composed pieces, which please the eye with their full tonal range and crisp focus. Cialdella himself provides descriptions and explanations of his working methods, sources of inspiration, and life experiences to add even greater richness to his images. Essays by Gregg Hertzlieb and John Ruff reflect on Cialdella’s work as a definitive photographic treatment of the region’s landscape.
These images offer an unforgettable portrait of a place that impresses with its strength and that moves us with the poignancy of its struggle. Renowned photographer Larry Fink says that Cialdella “brings his soft painterly eye into the politics of a sort of morality and provokes you to think beyond the forest, through the trees, into the banal and the oblique essence of decay.” Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 7/10
In the first half of the twentieth century, the steel industry was the major heavy industry in the U.S. and the bellwether of regional economic might. Today, the remnants of the steel industry are rapidly disappearing. The once giant mills that employed thousands are slowly decaying or have been torn down. This decay and decline has attracted numerous photographers, and a number of books have been published highlighting the rusting hulks of a once-proud industry. However, instead of photos depicting an industry in decline, the images in “Steel Remembered” show the steel industry at its zenith, when it was the standard by which all other industries were measured. Selected from the LTV Steel Collection donated to the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio, after LTV’s bankruptcy in 2000, photographs were chosen for their artistic quality, their importance in explaining industrial processes, and for their human interest. In preserving historical images from independent companies later purchased or taken over by LTV, the collection also provides a striking visual genealogy for LTV Steel. Photographers and those interested in the history of the steel industry will find this book an invaluable addition to their collections. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 6.5/10
Youngstown, Ohio, was often referred to as the Rust Belt because of its role in steel production. This volume contains photographs capturing the decaying traces of the industrial landscape amid the magnificence and magic of nature. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 9.5/10
Drawn from an era that saw Pittsburgh’s ascension to the height of industrial prowess in the United States and the world, the art in Born of Fire depicts all the drama and awe inspired by that epic age of industry.
In the first half of the twentieth century, as smokestacks filled the sky and blast furnaces roared day and night, local and national artists sought to capture the raw energy and visual spectacle of the industrial landscape. The tools and fruits of industry became the glorified subjects of art—railroads, skyscrapers, bridges, steel mills, factories, forges, and laborers are among those portrayed. The collection is also significant for its broad range of artistic styles, and includes a variety of media: pencil drawings, etchings, lithographs, pastels, oil paintings, watercolors and photographs. Among the artists represented are Thomas Hart Benton, Reginald Marsh, Aaron Harry Gorson, Emil Bott, Otto Kuhler, Hayley Lever, Ernest Lawson, and Johanna Knowles Woodwell Hailman.
Born of Fire catalogs a monumental period in the history of both art and industry, and provides a widely varied collection of artists and images that ennobled the spirit of human achievement. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 9/10
In this book, photographer Plowden turns to the subject of the steel industry, from quarry and mine to the refinery, the steel mill, and the final product. A wonderful, in-depth look at one of the most ubiquitous and influential materials in American life and work. Read Customer Reviews
About the Author
Travis Dewitz is a professional photographer located out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He has been published in many books and magazines including many in the railroad industry. He does a lot of photography work and environmental portraitures for many companies and heavy industries in and around Wisconsin. He has grown up with trains and railroads are one of his passions that he pursues. His railroad photography can be seen on his website The Railroad Collection.
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