Believe it or not, this picture was taken last week. Yes, in October 2013, not in 1906 when the plant was built. This steel casting plant, an icon of Omaha manufacturing, is moving to a new facility in Wahoo, Nebraska. I was lucky to get a tour of the old plant before it shuts down.
When I entered the first building, where grinding and finishing of the cast products was taking place, I was struck by sights and smells that seemed out of place in our high tech wireless society, especially when the high-rise chrome and glass buildings of the ultra-sterile Nebraska Medical Center are only a block away. Windows covered with 100 years of grime offered no ambient light. Workers dressed like Darth Vader moved around their work stations, in and out of shadows, with more light coming from their grinders than the dim lights overhead. Burnt metal was the prevailing odor. The floor seemed to be dirt.
The atmosphere was intimidating: big equipment, noisy, overhead cranes, hard hats, dusty, low visibility, almost scary. I was quickly put at ease by the hard-working men taking pride in their duties, all seemed focused on perfection. I was happy these jobs hadn’t been shipped over seas. It made me proud to see things “Made in America”.
Thought for the Day: A man’s feet must be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world. George Santayana