Wednesday, May 31, 2017

CSX/NYC Bridge over Erie Canal

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges, 3D Satellite)

Douglas Butler sketched what it would look like partially open.

Cleveland State University Library Book from Bridge Hunter

Thomas Trumeter posted three photos with the comment: "This railroad bridge spans Tonowanda Creek near Buffalo. Trying to figure out what appears to be a counter balance and what it does? One of the more unusual bridges I have ever seen."

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Amtrak/Pennsy Bridge over Susquehanna River at Perryville, MD

Another duplicate posting, please click here.

I-74 over Mississippi River at Molene/Bettendorf

(Bridge Hunter, Historic BridgesJohn Weeks IIISatellite, Street View, Quad-Cities Times has 32 photos)

(Update: more notes on the replacement bridge including construction photos)

John A. Weeks III

Jan Danielsen posted
Aaron F Barrett going under I-74 bridge Bettendorf, Iowa pool 15. First tow I have seen this year [2019].
[Shipping was delayed after the Winter ice melt because of flooding.]

Modjeski
Built in 1933 and twinned in 1959. It has only two lanes with no shoulders, so talk of replacement has been on going. I saw reference to a cable-stayed design. It appears the current proposal is "dual basket-handle arch bridges with main channel spans of 800 feet" that has 3 lanes with shoulders in each direction. It would also have a "outboard" bicycle and pedestrian path. [Modjeski]

Modjeski

Flickr from Bridge Hunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)

Mike Knox posted
Some Mississippi River Solitude under The I-74 Bridge. The most important parts, very few see/ Appreciate.
Flickr from Bridge Hunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
Boston Public Library

Retro Quad Cities posted
Susan Olson Shaw Going across that single span bridge terrified me when I was little. I would beg to use the Arsenal Bridge.
Mike Ironman posted, cropped
Mike Ironman posted
[Flood of 2019?]
Mike Ironman posted


The basket-handle arch design for the replacement bridges has been selected for a while. The issue has been funding. An estimate I saw was $791m. [QCtimes] And you know the price will only go up. They also seem to be refining the design because the piers in this conceptualization look different from the Mojeski image above.

Modjeski
Since the old bridges are to be removed after traffic is transferred to the new bridges, I saved a copy of the satellite image.

3D Satellite
(new window)


Monday, May 29, 2017

Towns bribing a company for a factory is not new

The astute reader will have noticed that I generally deal with just the technology aspect of industrial history. I deliberately avoid other topics such as greed (management, workers (union), shareholders), politics, regulations, deaths, and lawsuits. But a non-technology topic has tripped my "two mentions in one day" rule.

The top article of the business section of the May 21, 2017, Chicago Tribune was headlined "cutting workforce, but poised for tax break." Greg Trotter wrote that Conagra Brands won $10.5 million in state tax breaks to induce them to move their headquarters from Omaha, NE to Chicago. Conagra did move and now about 500 workers are in their new headquarters in the Merchandise Mart. But then they sold its private-label business for about $2.7 billion, shedding a Downers Grove office and a South Beloit cookie plant. Google has already removed the Downers Grove location, but Bing still has it, 3250 Lacey Road. According to Google, other food companies now use that facility, and hopefully many of the former Conagra  worker --- Hillshire Brands Innovation Center and Hearthside Food Solutions. Or were Hillshire and Hearthside Conaga brands? That sale cut about 600 Illinois jobs according to information obtained by the Chicago Tribune under the state's Freedom of Information Act. The company that bought the facilities, Treehouse Foods, says there have been no layoffs. But the state legislatures are rewriting the tax-incentive program to consider the total number of workers in Illinois, not just new workers in one city. EDGE (Economic Development for a Growing Economy) is now dead, but they are working on a THRIVE (Transforming, Helping, and Reviving Illinois' Versatile Economy) program. But Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce thinks the law should provide the flexibility of trading blue-collar jobs for white-collar jobs, especially if it has the prestige of bringing another headquarters to Illinois. But it should also emphasize bringing jobs to "particularly needy parts of the state."

Hearthside Fool Solutions
On their web site, I noticed that they have a big Hearthside sign on the building. So I waited for a sunny day and went to get my own picture of the building with the sign. But the sign is no longer on the building. So it does seem as though Hearthside was sold to Treehouse Foods. I hope when Treehouse says "there have been no layoffs" they also mean that "no layoffs are anticipated."
20170528 8799c
It does appear that someone is trying to make Chicagoland the "Silicon Valley" of foodies. Next door is a building with the sign "Tyson Foods, Inc." And they have added "INNOVATION CENTER" to the sign. McDonalds has its headquarters campus in Oakbrook, IL, but they are moving to downtown Chicago. The Kraft part of Kraft-Heinz still has its headquarters in Chicago.

I made a copy of McDonald's campus satellite image since it will be disappearing. I wonder if they will change the street names when the buildings get new tenants. The good news is that Chicago Public Schools has more need for property tax than Oakbrook does for their schools.

Satellite
I have already discussed the empty auto manufacturing plant in Normal, IL.



But today's government subsidies are small compared to the extortion of small communities that was practiced by labor intensive companies such as the Brown Shoe Company. A comment posted by Lost Illinois Manufacturing begins:
I often wondered why large corporations such as the Brown Shoe Company (at one time the third largest shoe manufacturer in the U.S.) would build factories in small, rural towns in Illinois - Charleston (450 employees), Litchfield (400 employees), Mattoon (508 employees), Murphysboro (650 employees), Pittsfield (475 employees), Salem (450 employees), Sullivan (425 employees).
I have taken pictures of an International Shoe Co. factory in Olney, IL. The posting provides the following three photos of Brown Shoe plants.

1, Murphysboro, IL

2, Salem, IL

3, Charleston, IL
The posting comment continues:
I think I found the answer - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"During the 1920's, citizens' committees were formed in a number of cities including Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and San Francisco. Generally they were formed by employers' associations in order to raise funds, and to secure the cooperation of the nonemploying public, for an antiunion campaign. . . . . In Chicago, Cleveland, and San Francisco, citizens' committees, organized by employers' associations, raised millions of dollars to wage a campaign to eliminate the building unions. In such a campaign, building contractors, real-estate interests, and bankers were an important element in enforcing a buyers' and credit boycott against union employers in the industry (the citizens' committee is a device for organizing business groups to carry out a campaign against labor organization and the economic program of unions. It is usually a temporary organization, born out of the fear that labor organizations may have adverse effects upon local business, payrolls, and employment. Through such fear it is able to enlist the support of real-estate owners, professional persons, small retailers, farmers, and other nonemploying groups. Often economic pressure in the form of a threat by an employer or employers to move the business to another locality causes local business groups to organize and exert pressure upon local officials and public opinion in order to break a strike or to eliminate labor unions). . . . As the personnel manager of the Goodyear plant in Gadsden, Alabama, has explained, it is much easier to organize community sentiment in favor of a company in a small community than in a large one. That is true because a small community is so dependent on the company's payroll. . . . The effectiveness of the threat to move lies not only in putting economic pressure upon small, independent businessmen to oppose the union but in forcing the government officials to side with the company. As the experience of the Remington-Rand Corporation in Syracuse and Ilion, New York, during its 1936 strike indicates, it is easier for a company to sway public officials in small cities than in large ones. . . . Under demand from the Citizens' Committee group to cooperate or resign, the mayor and the chief of police of Ilion were forced to appoint and fully equip about 300 special deputies, after which "law and order" broke loose in Ilion. The mayor explained that, as one of the largest property owners in Ilion, he was afraid of the Citizens' Committee, which included the bankers, because "he could easily be a ruined man and have nothing left but his hat, coat, and pants if these people were to clamp down on him as they were able to do and in a manner which he felt fearful they would do." Some merchants also informed the union members that they feared retaliation by the Citizens' Committee unless they went along with that group).
Tactics similar to those of the Remington-Rand Company were used during 1935 by the Brown Shoe Company, third largest shoe manufacturing firm in the country. The Brown Shoe Company then operated 14 shoe factories, one in St. Louis and the rest in small towns in the Middle West where the plants had been built with funds subscribed by representative citizens. The typical agreement provided for a certain sum of money to be furnished by the citizens of the town for the erection of the factory, which the company uses free of charge and will later own when it has spent a fixed minimum sum for labor in the plant during a specified period, usually 10 years. Often there is provision for a rebate of all taxes, business fees, and water rates during those 10 years. Approximately one third of the company's machinery is leased from shoe-machinery manufacturers and the rest can be easily moved to another town. Groups of citizens in small towns around St. Louis are constantly seeking to obtain one of the company's plants for their community.
Under such circumstances, the payroll of the company is the town's chief source of income, and the merchants and public officials of the town, many of them subscribers to the fund for the erection of the plant, are deeply interested in keeping it open and in operation. The economic threat to close the plant and move the work to another small town is sufficient to frighten the whole community. It was the closing of the plant, the threat to move, or the actual movement of machinery, that led in 1935 to the formation of citizens' committees in four small Illinois towns where the company had plants. In these towns, pressure was put upon union members by such methods as withdrawal of merchants' credit, solicitation by the citizens' committee of workers' signatures to an agreement to return to work under "any conditions stipulated by the Brown Shoe Company officials," vigilante attacks upon union officials, and the discharge of union sympathizers by local businessmen. Labor spies and corps of special police were also used. As a consequence of such tactics, the union was eliminated from these plants of the company."
Richard A. Lester, Duke University
Economics Of Labor, 1941
p. 651-656

Pella
I have noticed Pella factories in both Macomb, IL, and Murray, KY. I thought it was nice that they locate in rural areas were the towns have been hit by fewer farmers because of bigger tractors and combines. It looks like a coincidence that I have been in two of the seven towns that Pella uses. I do know that Murray actively supported the Kentucky West Tennesee Railway to service an industrial park north of their town. It appears they have convinced several companies to locate a factory in that park. I don't know if they offered tax incentives as well. And I remember when I visited Macomb that they talked about actively selling the town to industries to build plants there. Both Macomb and Murray have a university --- Western Illinois and Murray State. So the labor pool has access to good educational opportunities.

Update: In 1869 the Joliet city council offered a $75,000 bonus to the Union Coal, Iron and Transportation Company to build a steel mill in Joliet. There was a large civic celebration for the laying of the cornerstone of the main building on October 19,1869. There was an even larger celebration for the rolling of the first rail on July 12, 1870. "Almost 5,000 people tried to catch a glimpse of the first rail rolled at the mill." After the band played, the glee club sang, and speeches were made; the company "served generous quantities of lemonade, ale, and lager beer to the crowd that witnessed the launching of Joliet's era of steel." [JOLIET Transportation & Industry A PICTORIAL HISTORY by Robert E. Sterling, p118]

I noticed a headline in the Business Section of the August 4, 2017 Chicago Tribune: "TreeHouse Foods to lay off 375, close 2 factories." I thought TreeHouse sounded familiar. The artical provides the background information:
The layoffs, announced Thursday, make up a bout 2 percent of the 16,000 people the company employed at the end of last year. It has more than 50 factories in the US, Canada and Italy.
ThreeHouse, like other packaged food companies, has been hurt as more people chose to eat fresh foods and shop online instead of going to stores.
The towns that are impacted are Plymouth, IN; Brooklyn Park, MN; and Dothan, AL.

Update:
Middletown, OH offered money and land along the Erie and Miami Canal for the American Rolling Mill Company to build their new plant in their town.



Sunday, May 28, 2017

EJ&E Waukegan Roundhouse and Coaling Tower

(Satellite)
Lou Gerard posted
Waukegan roundhouse in 1973.
Charles Heraver Very nice photo. The roundhouse came down in 1985. And yes, as Frank DeVries mentioned, the round house is still there, although it is getting harder to see it with all of the over growth.
Edward Kwiatkowski shared
Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad EMD SW 1 diesel switcher
locomotive # 244, at the Waukegan Illinois roundhouse.
July 31st 1966 Dennis Schmidt photograph.
Michael Buckley EJ&E always had good power , I would see them when they came in with a delv of cars to the Santa Fe Joliet yard. J delv a lot of cars to Santa Fe at Joliet lots of steel went west out of Joliet !
Sam Carlson posted
EJ&E VO-1000m at Waukegan, IL. Note the different variations in color on this single unit.
Rob Conway We had some really excellent times with that Baldwin!
Kevin Piper posted
In this undated photo, we see the abandoned concrete roundhouse at Waukegan. A car crushing operation seems to be taking over the yard there. CHAD PETERSON PHOTO
Charles Heraver posted
One fine June 1985 afternon found us exploring the J's Waukegan round house.
Bob Tarlini Are you sure that’s Waukegan?? It kind of looks like the old section of the Joliet roundhouse.Richard Schwanke Weren't all three of the main "J" round houses pretty much the same design?Charles Heraver I can assure you this is Waukegan, as I lived there for about 40 years.Al Pawloski I was in there once too and I saw a big rectangular slab of concrete on the floor and was standing on it wondering for a moment what it was there for.
Then I looked up at the ceiling and saw a matching section of the roof missing! I got out of there in a hurry.
Charles Heraver I believe that is why they leveled the place. FWIW the building is still there---the J never hauled away the rubble.

Satellite, I made a copy of the satellite image because someday CN may clean up this mess.

The roundhouse was near the north end of the railyard.
USGS, 1960 Weukegan (sic), 1:24,000

Google Earth Apr 1993, the oldest image available


Ian Ermoian posted two photos with the comment:
Waukegan, IllinoisToday [8/19/2019] and 40 years agoThe first photo was taken yesterday, 8/19/19 The second photo was taken in December of 1979, and is not my photo.Credits to d.w.davidson of Flickr
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Steve Kraus commented on Ian's post
My version of the sanding tower.


Brian Smith shared Bob Bruns Flickr Photo
EJ&E cab 149
From an old postcard view. Coll. of Bob Bruns
Dennis DeBruler Does anybody recognize which yard had that coaling tower?
Richard Schwanke Waukegan? Looks to be the lake in the background.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Richard's comment
Thanks. Now that I know where to look, the tower is consistent with the tall rectangular shape on the service leads in this 1939 aerial.




Marty's Flickr photos:  Baldwin DT66-2000 center cab EJ&E 914 in front of the roundhouseBaldwin DT66-2000 center cab EJ&E 919 in front of the roundhouse (Marty notes that the turntable has been filled in by April 15, 1962.)


Saturday, May 27, 2017

West Chicago JA Tower: C&NW vs. EJ&E

John Markl posted
JA tower in WeGo....sat about a quarter mile north of JB...protected the crossing of the J and the CNW Freeport line...torn down around 1940, with operations consolidated at JB. View is looking from northwest, to southeast, on the CNW....Downtown WeGo in the left background.
[WeGo is evidently West Chicago.]
Brian Skrabetenas also posted
I added a red line on this 1939 aerial to show the track we are looking down in the photo. The Freeport route used to have a direct connection to the C&NW mainline. I put a blue square around the tower's location.
1939 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

Eisenhower Lock on St. Lawrence Seaway

(Satellite)

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Screenshot from a time-lapse video by Chuck Larrabee of the TAAGBORG going up in the Eisenhower Lock (source)




The Eisenhower lock is the upstream lock of a shipping canal that was built to replace the Cornwall Canal. The Snell Lock is the downstream lock of the new shipping canal. The St. Lawrence Seaway project in this area included a power dam, a control gate dam, and a high-clearance suspension bridge.

The page referenced by the caption below has many construction pictures of this complex. It also shows where and when cofferdams and cuts were built to allow construction of the two dams to be done in-the-dry while allowing the river to flow through the area. The two ships in the photo were designed for the locks of the Cornwall Canal. They dramatically illustrate how much longer the new locks are. They also have the bridge on the bow. I have noticed that has become obsolete. Modern boats have the engine room, living quarters, and bridge on the stern.
StLawrencePiks
Rene Beauchamp posted
Nostalgia
Eisenhower Lock circa 1960.
Bill Shaver before the viewing stand... that ship a coal burner.
Gene Beauchamp posted
View from the Vista House Overlook, Eisenhower Lock, about 1960. Downbound, the US laker Sullivan Brothers. Postcard published by St. Lawrence Valley Souvenir Co.


Eric Tolcser commented on Rene's posting
Grandpa at the locks. Only vacation he ever had after running his dairy farm 7 days a week his whole life.
Fritz Hager Looks like a Halco canaller ready to lock down.
Jeff Carson commented on Rene's posting
Went there just last week!!
Karen Coia posted four photos with the comment: "Adfines Star, Eisenhower Lock, Massena NY. 8/13/18"
Cynthia KrollCynthia and 235 others joined St. Lawrence Seaway Ship Watchers within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! Love Love Love, when I was growing g up my family would go up to Massena for vaca,My Aunt&Uncle lived in Massena, we loved going to the Locks, my dad loved Snell Lock best, he felt it had a better view of the ships.
Karen Coia Yes I think it is a better view but its all gated off now.

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Time lapse video of Algoma Equinox upbound