work

Posted by Ellen

In January 1943, Australian truck gardener and food packager Edgell & Sons Ltd opened a new cannery in Cowra, New South Wales, for the war effort; by January 1944, these women and other employees working in shifts around the clock had shipped off one million cans of tomatoes and other vegetables.

The cannery at Cowra stayed in operation till 2013, by which time Edgell had shifted over mostly to frozen foods, and every other cannery in Australia had already closed down. Birdseye now owns the company, though Edgell survives as a brand for the Australian market.

Posted by Ellen

This guy eats for a living; he and his two hundred or so herdmates in an outfit called Healing Hooves are hired out to chomp their way through brush and brambles along highways and in vacant lots and all kinds of briar patches in the Pacific Northwest.

One of this fellow's regular gigs is in back of Seattle City Light's North Substation, where vines and scrubby stuff overrun a hillside too steep and rocky for non-goatly methods of weed control.

A couple of blocks up from the substation is a two-family house where some of us hope to spend the summers while others of us plan to live year-round. As we attempt to join the goats in the neighborhood, please wish one another G'mornin for us and keep sending pictures and be patient; we'll be back at work soon.

Peace.

Posted by Ellen

In the best of times, such as when this photo was taken about four years ago, repairing houses and other buildings in Nepal involved scaffolding made from stalks of bamboo lashed together.

In the worst of times, such as right now, even this sort of construction work is an unimaginable luxury; all hands, and all hours of the day, are consumed by pawing through rubble, hoping or fearing to find relatives and friends and neighbors, and also hoping to find scraps of food and clothing and blankets, anything that might help the survivors cling to life.

There's nowhere to look for the basics of survival except in the rubble. There was no surplus of anything in Nepal to begin with, and only a single sizable airport for bringing relief in from the outside world.

Before these men could climb up on the scaffolding to lay brick, the sacks of mortar had to be brought in on the backs of people or donkeys; the streets here in this UNESCO World Heritage city of Bhaktapur, near Kathmandu, were much too narrow for cars or trucks.

Now even the country's best roads are ruined, and travel through the narrow lanes and paths is generally impossible. Some villages that used to be a day's walk or more from the nearest highway have not been heard from since the quake.

Bhaktapur was once a great royal court city; grand palaces and temples survived there for more than a thousand years. They're not there any more.

Posted by Ellen

Up in Tedland, high on the mountain above the Cacapon River, to get warm at all, you have to get warm twice. Or else wait till June and get all the warm you want, and then some.

Posted by Ellen

Somewhere in the eastern Pacific, a Harrier jump jet prepares to drop down onto the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard.

Posted by Ellen

Portrait de la la Repasseuse, by Laura Corrado, from the 2015 Royal Photographic Society International Biennial. 

Posted by Ellen

In 1899, snow was shoveled off busy Manhattan streets, loaded into wagons, and hauled down to the docks, where it was dumped in the river. 

Nowadays, the EPA doesn't like for states or municipalities to dump dirty snow from city streets into rivers or, as in the case of Portland, Maine, into the ocean. Portland used to throw its snow from downtown into the harbor, but it now builds mountains of snow, dump-truckload after dump-truckload, in an empty field near the airport.

New York City trucks its snow to melting machines, known as snow dragons, which can melt thirty tons of snow an hour and discharge the meltwater into the city sewer sytem. In an emergency, however, such as a ridiculously huge blizzard, we are told that the EPA will look the other way while the city rids its streets of snow the old-timey way.

Posted by Ellen

Picking up the pieces last summer in the plaza at downtown Seattle's Westlake Mall.

Posted by Ellen

Shorpy tells us the hundred-plus-year-old glass plate that produced this photo is something he bought on eBay.  Apparently, nothing is known about the image, except that it features photographic technology, and perhaps also props and fashion, that date it to approximately 1910.

The brand of the stove, Peninsular, suggests the location may be southern Michigan or northern Ohio.

All in all, what we've got here are two unknown people in an unknown kitchen, taking a moment from their unknown lives to look us right straight in the eye, from the distant shores of the early twentieth century.

Note that they've been saving old newspapers up on top of the cabinet.

Posted by Ellen

Around the middle of every October comes a day declared Philly Photo Day by the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. Anybody who happens to be in Philly that day with any kind of camera, even a cellphone, is invited to submit a snapshot that captures a smidgen of what's going on, on that day, in this city.

The nineteen hundred photos turned in this year, for the fifth iteration of the event, will be displayed next April in the new Dilworth Park plaza at City Hall.

Above is Katrin Maldre's submission, showing the action behind the back counter at Gavin's Cafe in Fitler Square. Below is my entry, featuring Grand Opening balloons outside a new pet-supply store on South Street.