25 March 2018

Photographers Street View index

Photographers Street View
updated 16 October 2018
GoogleStreetViewCameraCloseup
a Google "9 eyes" camera
by Kowloonese at en.wikipedia
Welcome! The images you see in this collection are derived from Google Street View using Google's "Picasa" photo editing. The site has been developed to feature locations of interest to the author/photographer and you.

Google explains their Street View project, including ways you can become involved on their page, "Understand Street View." This page shows illustrations of the various ways their cameras are mounted on all sorts of contraptions (not just cars). You may be "wowed" by their publishing process here, too. Hats off to Google for starting a revolution in how we see our world and share it with each other!

If you like what you see on this site, you may also enjoy the interpretations featured in the Artistic Google Collection.

Google's 9 eyes Street View self-portrait, Sept 2015
What did the photographer miss?

Acknowledgement to Street View and the Street View URL will be provided for each photo, which will allow you to visit the location, too--and create your own interpretations.

An angle, an older Street View tour of the area or a change in tone might suggest a unique view for you to snip. Move that mouse! Venture down that lonely alley or country byway. Look around. Street View isn't just a directional aid. It's an explorer's tool. Have a wonderful trip!

Shadows on Summer Street
page 50, The Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection
Google Street View, Sept 2014

(most likely location of the Double Thread Sewing Company offices, Boston MA)
This blog originated unexpectedly as a by-product of the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection. The author found himself enjoying Google Street View entirely too much, snipping here and there contemporary photos of locations of largely northeastern American businesses in the 19th century. When the indexing of the Arnold collection is complete (don't hold your breath) the author intends to return here to develop this blog further.

As of 2016 an increasing number of photographers are modifying, organizing and incorporating Google Street View images in their works of art. Although experience in photography is helpful, anybody with patience can clip the 9 eyes' images. Time Magazine's 2012 article "Street View and Beyond: Google's Influence on Photography" gives a good overview of the state of the art at that time.

Meanwhile, to see what I'm up to currently, join the over 645,309 folks who have viewed my posts page!

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Photographers Street View

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17 March 2018

Shadows of Industry

updated 1 October 2018

Pawtucket, RI:

Shadows of Industry

 
Thanks to Alix, we're here!
The reverse of Alix's card stimulated our interest in the Pawtucket operations of J & P Coats.
Location, location, location is the mantra of the Real Estate industry. Profit, profit, profit motivates corporate decisions. In the 19th century, cheap water power and inexpensive transportation to market gave New England manufacturing locations advantages. In the mid-20th century, however, locations in the northeastern United States began to lose their hold on industry as labor costs gave other locations, both within and outside the US, decisive advantages for those concerned with profit margins.


J & P Coats once employed thousands in Pawtucket RI. Today, its successor company, Coats, records its history on the company site. 
This all looks very positive, with the emphasis on growth and mergers and innovation. Anything missing? Why yes, now that you mention it. It was during the 60s that Coats left its Pawtucket employees behind, all 4,000 or so.

The importance of Coats to Pawtucket was described in Slater Trust Company, "Pawtucket Past and Present, being a brief account of the beginning and progress of its industries and a resume of the early history of the city." (1917). Rhode Island History.Book1, p.22. This selection is part of the United States History Commons.
Page 32 of the reference above notes that in the early 20th century, J & P Coats was one among several companies operating in Pawtucket:



Typical of much 19th century mill architecture is the Conant Co. tower shown next. You can spot such towers on the buildings on both the 1877 and 2018 maps below.


Below is an 1877 map (credit: Library of Congress) showing the Conant Co. buildings (marked "2") to the left of Pine St. across from the Fales & Jenks Machine Co. I'm not sure how the pond in left center survived all this industrial activity intact, but it appears to have come through with a clear, unpolluted appearance in the 2018 photo (credit: Google Maps). Click on the map images to enlarge them.

1877
2018 (Fales & Jenks was demolished)
What was it like inside these mills when they were in working? We can show you one of the operations from 1956. If there were a sound track on this film, you probably wouldn't want to listen to it. Workers just had to get used to cacophony. Click the arrow to watch on this page.

[1956 ~ 1 min.]


A woman who used to work in one of the Lowell, MA factories describes the sound for us in the video below. I've started this clip 18 minutes into the original 27 min.YouTube post.


While adults staffed most 20th century American thread mills, the history of employment in these places both in America and Scotland, where J & P Coats originated, was sordid. In 2018, many industries, deprived of cheap labor in their countries of origin by union contracts and child labor laws, have distinguished themselves by chasing cheap labor, first to southern states of the US and then by moving their factories to countries where cheap labor abounds.

The 15 min. documentary below introduces us to the labor practices prevalent in industrialized Britain in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The worldwide persistence of this pattern of exploitation into the 21st century is remarkable and speaks poorly of those of us who allow its persistence anywhere.

Part 1 of a BBC documentary ~ 15 min.

Vintage postcards show the prominence of Coats on the Pawtucket skyline in the early 20th century:

Published by the Hugh C. Leighton Co., Portland ME, unknown date
publisher & date unknown
When companies move, what gets left behind? In the case of Pawtucket, lots of potential! Potential for pollution, big fires and civic decay, that is. All communities that lose big companies suffer for awhile, most for decades. Here's the condition of Pawtucket's J&P Coats campus as seen by Google Street View in the early 21st century: