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    Growing up in a Navy family meant moving a lot. I've spent most of my later life in Southern California - howver, I was born near Chicago, and still have family ties to the Midwestern portion of the U.S. I love the midwest! Today I have two random vintage slide scans to share.

    I'll begin with this industrial view, dated "June 1959". The slide was hand-labeled, "Indiana cement factory, Lake Erie". Which is very helpful - except that Indiana has coastline along Lake Michigan, not Erie - the photo appears to be along a river. So I don't know what to make of that! Is this even a cement factory? I sure don't know. I thought cement came out of the ground like crude oil. 

    Nevertheless, I still find the rust-belt image of a spidery steel structure looming above some train tracks, like a scene from a steampunk video game. When you drive through the midwest, you'll see stuff like this all the time, to the point where you might not even really notice it.

    Next is this 1954 photo from the Detroit River, looking up Woodward Avenue (to the right), with the Vernor's ginger ale plant a block inland. Vernor's dates back to 1866, though this 230,000 square foot factory (encompassing an entire city block) was built in - - well, I can't find exactly when this factory was built. It might have been converted from a former power plant.

    Here's an interesting aerial view. In the 1950's, Vernor's made a deal with the city of Detroit, selling the property so that Cobo Hall and other riverfront properties could be developed. Meanwhile, Vernor's had a new, streamlined facility a few miles north on Woodward.

    Here's a look from the Detroit River. Notice the signs for "Bob-Lo Island", and amusement park on Bois Blanc Island in Ontario (Canada) that operated from 1898 until 1993. Two steamers ferried guests from Detroit to Boblo Island, the SS Ste Claire and the SS Columbia.

    I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the midwest!

    (@)[email protected] (Major Pepperidge)

    Published on 22 Sep 2018 at 07:01AM

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