If you enjoy the Abandoned America website, find out more about the books here
Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream / Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences

Steam & Steel Workshop on August 23

Posted: 19th June 2010
It is an honor to present to you the next in the Abandoned America workshop series, hosted in partnership with the National Museum of Industrial History and the Friends of the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center!

Location: Multiple locations (see below), Bethlehem PA & Phillipsburg, NJ
Date/Time: August 23, 2014
Cost: $140/ea., appx 7 hours

The Sites: This workshop, "Steam & Steel" takes place at 2 amazing locations. The National Museum of Industrial History in association with the Smithsonian Institution will open its warehouses in the Bethlehem PA area to photographers.

One location is NMIH's "Closed Storage Facility." A visit to this rarely seen warehouse will provide a sneak peek at current and future restoration projects. Grease, dust, and rust are the rule in this building. It houses a core collection of items recovered from the Bethlehem, PA Plant of Bethlehem Steel. There is a pair of Bethlehem Steel firetrucks, hundreds of wooden foundry patterns, a 25-ton diesel electric locomotive native to Open Hearth #3, and a plethora of other industrial relics. Additional items collected by NMIH representing broader American industry include 1890s vintage rug making machinery from Lomax in Philadelphia, belt driven air compressors built in Easton, PA, and Phillipsburg, NJ, machine tools including the camelback drill press used at General Trexler's estate, and possibly more items that are still on their way. This location will be dirty and may include operating mobile equipment.

Hidden away in the woods north of Phillipsburg, NJ, is a remarkably complete 1913 water pumping station once operated by the Peoples Water Company. The centerpiece of the facility is a 51 foot tall pumping engine. Known as "Big Alice," the 300 horsepower, vertical, triple-expansion steam engine was built by Allis Chalmers of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It pumped six million gallons of water a day from the Delaware River up to a reservoir which served Phillipsburg, New Jersey. The engine operated into the 1980s and is now cared for by the Friends of the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center, which utilize the pump house as a storage facility.

Please note some driving between sites by attendees is necessary. Phillipsburg and Bethlehem sites are appx. 20 minutes apart. 50% of all profits go to NMIH and the Friends of the New Jersey Heritage Transportation Center.

The Workshop: During the workshop I will be on hand to help you get better shots - these environments can be pretty tough to navigate photographically and I encourage you to come with questions. Learning to use a tripod, what file format to shoot in, how to compose shots better, what ISO, F-Stop, and shutter speed affect, and how to do things like exposure bracketing are very important to your results. Don't feel afraid to ask me even questions that may seem silly to you. I want you to leave with pictures you're proud of. I've been doing this for a while and want you to learn from my mistakes and successes. If you feel you do not need/want instruction, if you are a complete novice, or even if you aren't a photographer and would just like to see the workshops/locations, you are welcome to join.

Safety: I encourage you to always pay attention to your surroundings. Site managers will be on hand and following their directions is critical. If you do not you may be asked to leave the site. You will be asked to sign a waiver before you enter acknowledging that you are entering a potentially unsafe environment and that you will not hold either the owners or myself liable for any harm that may befall you or your equipment. Obviously the first priority on the trip, even before taking great pictures, is making sure that you are safe - but you will need to be the one looking out for that.

What to bring:
- a bottle of water
- sturdy boots that protect your feet
- your tripod
- a fully charged cell phone
- your camera manual if you're unsure how to change settings. I can help you find the information you need in the manual but most cameras have their own ways of accessing features and changing settings and that makes things a lot easier.
- It's not necessary but a remote shutter switch is a nice thing to have and you can get a cheap one on Amazon for about $6 depending on your camera.

Refunds: Because of the extremely limited tour spots there are NO REFUNDS OR EXCHANGES if you have signed up for the tour except in case of workshop cancellation. You may give a paid spot in the workshop to someone else if you are unable to attend. All sales are final.

Any questions? Send me a note at admin@abandonedamerica.org

THIS WORKSHOP HAS ENDED. There are no plans for 2015 workshops here.

Important: Please make sure you check the email associated with your Paypal account for confirmation/updates!


Photo comment By jim mundell: Is there a list I could get on for future workshops? Schedule won't allow me to do your current ones. Looks like fun! Thanks Jim
Photo comment By Dale Schwartz: I just discovered your site and would be interested in future photo workshops.My location is northern NJ so any location with 2-21/2 hrs away would be doable. Thanks so much.

Leave a comment

Your Name
Your Email
Your Comment
No info required here, please press the button below.