Lonaconing Silk Mill – Part 1 (The BIG Picture)

I spent last weekend in Lonaconing, MD with a bunch of photographers, organized by Tony Sweet, photographing the old, abandoned silk mill.  Over the course of the two days, there were about 20 different photographers who showed up.  For many of us, this was not the first time at the mill (it was Tony’s seventh visit to the site.)  Apart from a chance to get into a photographically cool place to shoot, these trips give us a chance to get together and shoot and socialize with some really good photographers – some pro’s, but most amateurs like me.  I thought that I would dedicate this first post from that shoot to a couple of panaorama shots that might give you a sense of the place.

This first shot is of the main facade of the mill.  We enter the mill through the old office door on the second floor of the wing to the right of the picture.  Once we leave the office, we enter a (comparatively) small machine room, which ends at what I would refer to as the main factory building.  There are two huge machine rooms on the second and third floors which contain the majority of the machinery.  The first floor, which we call “the basement”, contains some machinery at the far end, but most of the space looks to be given over to shipping and receiving functions and maintenance.

This is a 180 degree panorama of the machine room on the second floor of the main building.  As you might be able to see, there are row upon row of similar machines (I have no idea of their function).  At the far end of the room on the right are two large ovens, which I assume were used for curing the silk after it had been dyed.  The third floor is set up similarly, but with different machines. The overwhelming impression I take away from the factory is that it was what we would now call a massively parallel system.

In the next couple of days I will post some of my photos from the shoot.